After noticing suspicious activity among inmates, police charged a Cherbourg man with injecting drugs into a fellow inmate while in custody. File Photo.
After noticing suspicious activity among inmates, police charged a Cherbourg man with injecting drugs into a fellow inmate while in custody. File Photo.

Man sneaks opioids into watch house, injects self and others

With his back to the security camera at Kingaroy Watch House, a Cherbourg man administered controlled drugs to a fellow inmate before injecting himself, a court heard.

The defendant, 20, pleaded guilty to broad range charges, including assault occasioning bodily harm, contravening a police protection notice, failing to surrender into custody, possessing controlled drugs, the unlawful possession of an item used in connection with a drug offence, administering a controlled drug to someone else, unlawfully entering a dwelling and stealing property, unlawfully entering two yards, and two counts of obstructing police officers in the performance of their duties.

On December 12, 2020, police were monitoring the movements of three prisoners in the Kingaroy Watch House. Police prosecutor Sergeant Gangemi said suspicious activity was noted and a co-offender was subsequently searched.

“Police seized an item, which was in the hands of the defendant, locating a blue and white package containing Suboxone,” Sergeant Gangemi said.

“Between 10.26am and 10.30am on that date, the co-defendant and himself went to the front of the court and turned their back to the camera.”

“The defendant appears to draw an item into a syringe like object and injects it into another person and then injects himself with it.”

The assault occasioning bodily harm dates back to October 12, 2020, when an argument broke out between the defendant and victim after she refused to hand her phone over to him.

Sergeant Gangemi said the defendant punched the victim in the side of the head, near her ear, and proceeded to block her path as her attempted to escape him.

“The defendant has again punched the victim, causing a one centimetre laceration. There was a physical struggle and the victim tried to hit back in self defence,” Sergeant Gangemi said.

On September 3, 2020, the defendant was charged with contravening a police protection order after attending a Cherbourg address and yelling for the victim to come out.

“The defendant entered the dwelling. He took the victims bag, which contained alcohol containers and exited before taking the phone from the veranda,” Sergeant Gangemi said.

At 9am on December 10, the defendant, who had outstanding matters, was spotted by police and asked to stop.

“He ran into a number of yards trying to avoid arrest,” Sergeant Gangemi said.

The defendant attempted to hide from police in a caravan parked at a Kingaroy property, and while inside stole cash out of the owners wallet.

The defendant was represented by Bonnie Djordjevic from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (ATSILS).

In relation to the assault and violation of the police protection notice, Ms Djordjevic said these offences occurred while the defendant and victim were going through a separation.

“This was a particularly volatile time they were going through. He does instruct that the violence goes both ways, but he accepts that doesn’t make it ok for him to behave the way he did,” she said.

In relation to the trespass and burglary offences, Ms Djordjevic said they were opportunistic in nature.

“He didn’t intend to go into that caravan. It was in the course of him running from police.”

Ms Djordjevic said the main contributor behind her clients offending is his drug use, which has been going on for a couple of years.

“I’m instructed (the defendant) would like to participate in some kind of therapeutic intervention, so that he can address his drug use,” she said.

Magistrate Andrew Sinclair said the defendant’s actions are consistent with somebody who has been affected by drugs and his sentence will be centred around rehabilitation.

“The only way you’ll cease committing offences is to deal with your drug problem and that’s what I’m going to place priority on,” he said.

Taking into account the 32 days of presentence custody already served by the defendant, Magistrate Sinclair sentenced him to a three-month period of imprisonment for the assault occasioning bodily harm, which was suspended immediately for a period of 12 months.

For administering the controlled drug, he was convicted and not further punished.

For all other offences, including the burglary, he was placed on an 18 month period of probation.

Conviction were recorded.