A man ingested the party drug GHB before he was caught by police driving a car with a sawn off shot gun, ammunition, drugs, knives and thousands of dollars in cash hidden inside, a court heard.
Justin Richardson, 32, appeared at the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to a string of charges including possession of ammunition, possession of drugs including ecstasy, possession of proceeds of crime, driving while disqualified and trafficking drugs.
The court heard Richardson was seen by police driving down Grevillea Road in Wendouree just before 1.30am on Thursday. Police prosecutor Senior Constable Kathleen Hewitt said when Richardson was intercepted by police near the Minerdome he was acting “nervous” and fidgeting with a satchel bag on his shoulder.
Police searched the bag and car, finding six spoons, security cameras, a wrist watch, two knives, a large quantity of ammunition and a shot gun. The court was told police also found 10 blue ecstasy tablets and a perfume bottle filled with the drug gamma hyroxybutrate, also known as GHB.
The court heard Richardson made full admissions and said he had taken GHB at about 9pm Wednesday night, hours before he was caught by police. The court heard Richardson had nine pages of prior convictions.
Defence lawyer Scott Belcher said Richardson had an “appalling” and abusive childhood and had battled depression, suicidal thoughts and drug addiction since he was a teenager.
He said Richardson should be given a three to six-month jail term with a community corrections order and support through rehabilitative programs because his offending “mirrored” his previous pattern of crimes.
However, magistrate Gregory Robinson said such a sentence would be “manifestly inadequate.” He said Richardson was caught “armed to the teeth with weapons” and was a danger to himself and the community. He sentenced Richardson to 18 months in jail with a non-parole period of 12 months. He also sentenced him to a 12-month community corrections order and urged him to turn his life around.
“You are the master of your own destiny.. it’s up to you to turn your life around and break the cycle,” Mr Robinson said. “If you do not change your ways you will just continue to spend more time in jail.”
Richardson is appealing the sentence.
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