Bundaberg plasterer's 'slippery slide' straight to jail
THE DEVASTATING destructiveness of drugs was evident as Christopher Thomas DeCosta sat in the Bundaberg District Court dock.
Failing to appear in court last week, DeCosta was arrested after a warrant was issued and yesterday he pleaded guilty to three counts of supplying methamphetamine, one count of possessing methamphetamine along with 26 summary charges including drug driving, unlicensed driving and evading police.
The most recent of his crimes was committed just last weekend when syphoned petrol from a car.
From small business owner to prisoner, the court heard two life-changing events in 2013 became the catalyst for the 40 year old's ice addiction.
The qualified plasterer had run a small plastering company but a car accident left him with painful, permanent nerve damage in his arm.
DeCosta then lost his home and all his possessions in the 2013 floods and turned to methamphetmine to "self-medicate”.
Defence barrister Jacob Robson said his client became addicted "almost immediately” and at the height of his addiction he was smoking ice daily.
In receipt of a steady wage from income protection insurance payments, Mr Robson said DeCosta was able to afford, and did, consume one and a half points of the drug each day.
But Mr Robson asked Judge Brendan Butler to take into account that the circumstances of the supplying charges were at the lowest end of the scale.
"It wasn't for profit, but to assist others so this might be reciprocated when they were able to supply drugs,” Judge Butler agreed after hearing the facts.
But he warned Mr Robson that for now it didn't appear as though DeCosts was doing anything to address his issues.
"He's got a hell of a lot of history from running away from things. It seems to me he was avoiding this,” he said referring to DeCosta's no show in court last week.
"This guy doesn't seem to be acting normally at all. He's running from police, using false plates ... what's going on?”
Noting the string of offending spanned the last 15 months, Judge Butler told DeCosta had no option but to jail him, saying he hoped he would use his time behind bars to kick his habit and work out how he was going to stay away from ice once released.
"We see young fellas doing this sort of stuff when you'd expect young men to be stupid but you're well beyond that,” he said.
"Running away from the police, it all catches up with you which is pretty obvious here.
"You're on a slippery slide to nowhere.
"I'm going to have to send you to jail.”
DeCosta was sentenced to a head sentence of 12 month with a parole release date of June 8 this year.
He was also disqualified from driving for two and a half years.