Bundaberg Court House.
Bundaberg Court House. Mike Knott BUN100316COURT2

Ice driver did 148km/h in 80 zone to evade cops

A SUPREME Court Justice considered the unfortunate childhood of Damien Samuels before sentencing him to jail for having ice.

Samuels, 36, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court at Bundaberg to possession of dangerous drug methylamphetamine in excess of two grams on August 17, 2016.

Samuels also pleaded to lesser offences including possession of drug utensils; receiving tainted property; possession of property suspected of being used in a drug offence; and failing to stop for police.

Defence barrister Callan Cassidy said his offending should be taken in context with his childhood circumstances and tended medical letters to support this.

Samuels left home at the age of 14 and worked as a plasterer, but was now on a disability pension.

Mr Cassidy said Samuels did move away from methylamphetamine use but lapsed at the time of the offences last year.

However, since being in custody (August to January) Samuels got off drugs and was living a stable, drug free life.

He sought a jail term of no more than 18 months with immediate parole release.

Justice Peter Applegarth said police found Samuels with clip seal bags that held 3.575 grams of methamphetamine with a purity of 75%.

Justice Applegarth said it was of great concern that when police tried to intercept Samuels in his car on August 11 last year he failed to stop.

Samuels drove at a speed of 148km/h in an 80 zone and police lost sight of him.

Justice Applegarth said Samuels later told police he "couldn't remember because of the illicit drugs you were taking at the time”.

But he then recanted, saying he'd been a passenger but would not say who the driver was.

He accepted Samuels had a very difficult life in childhood and is still recovering.

Samuels was sentenced to 18 months jail with immediate parole release as he had already spent 148 days in custody.

He was disqualified from driving for two years, with 148 days jail for the failing to stop offence.

His sentence was the last to be heard in Bundaberg at these Supreme Court sittings and Justice Applegarth commended Crown prosecutor Mr Cummings on his work load at various "complex” sentences including a double murder as well as conducting a murder trial.

Justice Applegarth said he did "an extraordinary amount of work” and it would have been of assistance to his workload if he had been provided with a junior prosecutor to help.



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