Each week, a number of people face Kingaroy Magistrates Court on a range of different drug charges. File Photo
Each week, a number of people face Kingaroy Magistrates Court on a range of different drug charges. File Photo

NAMED: South Burnett drug offenders who fronted court

EACH week, a number of people face Kingaroy Magistrates Court on a variety of drug charges. It appears each year the drug problems in the South Burnett continues to increase, with Queensland Crime Statistics revealing a staggering 86.24 per cent increase in drug use in Kingaroy between 2018 and 2019.

The South Burnett Times hopes a system of naming and shaming will assist our community by deterring residents getting involved in dangerous and illicit drugs.

On Monday (September 14), Riki James Kennedy entered a plea of guilty to a number of charges before Kingaroy Magistrates Court via video, including drug charges, driving charges, a fail to appear, and the contravention of a probation order.

The first offences date back to November 14, 2017, where police located dangerous drugs, namely cannabis and drug utensils at a Stanthorpe address. During a search warrant police located a two grams of cannabis, scales, a grinder, and a book for use in connection with the commission of a drug offence. Police also located a water pipe and scissors, which had been used in the connection with the smoking of a dangerous drug.

The other drug charges were laid following search warrant at a Brooklands address on March 21, 2020. On this occasion, police located a homemade water pipe and electric grinder used in connection with the smoking of a dangerous drug.

Police prosecutor Pepe Gangemi said Kennedy told officers the drugs were for his “personal habit”, because “he didn’t smoke cigarettes”.

On July 8, Kennedy was intercepted by police while driving on River Road at Kingaroy. He was subsequently charged with driving without a licence, and driving an uninsured and unregistered car. Sgt Gangemi said the registration had been cancelled on June 18, 2019, meaning Kennedy had been unlawfully driving while unregistered for 13 months.

Kennedy also faced two further charges, including contravening a probation order, which occurred on April 2, 2019, and failing to surrender in custody at the Kingaroy Magistrates Court in accordance with an undertaking he entered in November 2019. He was arrested under a bail act warrant on December 2, 2019.

Defence lawyer Jay Rose said he has a drug problem, which is impeding his ability to comply with orders and the court process.

The 22-year-old man was released onto a probation order for 12 months for the drug charges, and must submit to urine analysis and therapeutic intervention.

He was convicted and fined $1000 for driving while uninsured, and $500 for breaching the probation order. Both fines were referred to SPER.

For driving while registered he was convicted and not further punished.

For driving without a licence, he was disqualified from driving for a further two years.

All convictions have been recorded.

Kristy Oriel Child pleaded guilty to two charges before the court, including possessing dangerous drugs and drug utensils.

According to Sgt Gangemi, on August 19 2020, officers located a small quantity of ICE and a straw, which had been used in connection with smoking a dangerous drug.

Defence lawyer Mark Werner told the court his client has a drug problem, which has lead to a two page criminal history, with more than half a page relating to the possessing utensils.

A supply charge and a possess drug charge got her a probation order back in 2018, which she successfully completed.

She was convicted and fined $750, which has been referred to SPER

The convictions are recorded.

Dean Jurgensen pleaded guilty to three drug related charges before the court, including two counts of possessing dangerous drugs and one count of possessing drug utensils.

At 8.30am on August 22, 2020, a search warrant conducted at a Kingaroy address revealed methamphetamine and cannabis, as well as a bong, grinder and scissors.

Mr Werner said “this all came out of a raid and there are two other co-accused. It was known that there were people using drugs in that house, so pretty much everyone was charged with everything that was there,” he said.

The 21-year-old man was convicted and fined $500 for all three offences, which has been referred to SPER.

“You need to make some better choices both in substances you choose to take and the people you associate with,” Magistrate Sinclair said.