LONG SENTENCING: Robert Charles Baron faced Dalby Magistrates Court on September 8, charged several drug related and public nuisance offences. Picture: File
LONG SENTENCING: Robert Charles Baron faced Dalby Magistrates Court on September 8, charged several drug related and public nuisance offences. Picture: File

Drug producing dad lets 10yo daughter drive him around town

A KUMBARILLA man who threatened a man with a metal pipe, grew his own weed, and had his 10-year-old daughter drive him around town, has escaped jail time.

Robert Charles Baron, 36, faced Dalby Magistrates Court on September 8 on 11 charges, ranging from possessing and producing dangerous drugs, commit public nuisance, possessing weapons, and permitting another to drive while unlicenced.

Baron's family sat at the back of the courtroom and listened stoically to the lengthy list of crimes he had committed on January 10 and May 12.

Police prosecutor senior constable Jodie Tahana told the court about the first incident on January 10 about 9.30pm on Kumbarilla Rd, Kumbarilla.

The court heard police were called to a disturbance, where the defendant was reportedly standing on the road outside a residence swearing.

"The defendant was outside on the road … yelling out words to the effect of 'You c--t come out and fight ... come out and play'," she said.

Court documents stated witnesses had seen Baron outside the dwelling, where he appeared to be brandishing a metal pole.

 

A view of the Kumbarilla State Forest from the Moonie Highway.
A view of the Kumbarilla State Forest from the Moonie Highway.

The defendant left in his vehicle before police arrived, and was later located near his home in Kumbarilla travelling towards them.

"Police stopped the vehicle, and spoke to the defendant who denied any involvement and disputed everything the witnesses had stated," snr const Tahana said.

"He was arrested in relation to other matters."

In relation to the driving offences, police intercepted Baron's car on the same day about 11.12pm on Kumbarilla Rd.

The car appeared to be swerving from left to right as if an intoxicated person was behind the wheel, the court heard.

The vehicle was pulled over, with police locating the defendant's 10-year-old daughter in the driver's seat.

The court heard Baron was in the passenger seat, awake and responsive, and was arrested in relation to other matters.

Snr const Tahana told the court the car was unregistered and uninsured, with the witness child not being able to hold a licence as she was only 10.

The weapons offences occurred on the same date, where a telescopic baton and knife were located in his car.

"The defendant stated the knife was in his car as he'd been pigging with it a few days prior, and had found the baton at the dump some time previously," snr const Tahana said.

"He was later released on bail."

His final run in with Dalby police occurred on May 12 about 9.43am, when they executed a search warrant at his address in Kumbarilla.

Dalby Magistrates Court. Picture Mark Cranitch.
Dalby Magistrates Court. Picture Mark Cranitch.

Police conducted a systematic search of the two bedroom house, with marijuana, and seeds found in the main bedroom.

Two small vials of steroids, five needles, three syringes, and a homemade water pipe were also located.

The court heard 15 marijuana plants were found in different parts of the house, ranging from 5cm to 30cm.

Snr const Tahana told the court about Baron's history, highlighting his last entry relating to his suspended sentence at the time of these offences for two assault occasioning bodily harm offences.

"For these he received four months of imprisonment, suspended for nine months," she said.

"That operational period ended on July 16, 2020.

"These offences do breach that suspended sentence."

Defence lawyer Brad Skeuse submitted to the court he'd be open to fines for the majority of offences, extending the operational period for his suspended sentence, and asked for immediate parole.

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Mr Skeuse said in the defendant's public nuisance charge there was no physical fight, with his client leaving without further involvement.

The court heard Baron had given an explanation to the knife and baton, and accepted his daughter was driving the vehicle.

In relation to the drug matters, Mr Skeuse said marijuana was solely used to manage pain from previous back injuries due to difficulties with prescription medication.

Mr Skeuse told the court Baron had extended periods of time where he was offence free, and had full time care of his two children.

Magistrate Roger Stark told Baron he was not youthful anymore with a lengthy rap sheet of five pages, which included a number of offences of violence.

Baron pleaded guilty to all charges, and was fined $600 for public nuisance, $500 for the driving offences, and $353 for permitting a person to drive uninsured.

He was then fined $400 for the unlawful possession of weapons charges, and $900 for the drug offences.

Mr Stark took into account the shortness of time from when he was given the suspended sentence in October 2019, to the public nuisance offence in January.

Considering this, he ordered Baron to serve the entirety of his four month sentence, but allowed for his parole release date for that day.

"If you slip up you'll be taken directly to jail, you won't be brought back to court," Mr Stark said.

Convictions were recorded.



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