AN OVERWEIGHT Hervey Bay man started using speed because he was told it would help him lose weight – but it wasn’t long before his life spiralled out of control, the Maryborough Supreme Court has heard.
Lee Jay Cowlard fronted the court this week to plead guilty to a string of drug charges including producing dangerous drugs, possessing dangerous drugs, possessing money suspected to be proceeds of a crime and unlawful possession of a sawn-off shotgun.
The court heard Cowlard’s offending started in late 2008 when he was diagnosed with a double hernia, he quit smoking and, as a consequence, his weight climbed to 123kg.
“His partner used amphetamines ... she suggested (to Cowlard) using amphetamines to lose weight,” defence barrister Catherine Morgan said.
Just weeks later Cowlard had developed a speed habit and started cooking it himself. It was only a matter of time before he attracted police attention.
Crown prosecutor Greg Cummings said the first raid carried out on Cowlard’s Kawungan home was on December 3, 2008.
What police found was a “wealth of chemicals for meth production” and various components of a meth lab: condensers, a gas cooker and scales.
Inside a locked fridge were two lots of amphetamines – one weighing 22.9 grams and the other weighing 0.3 grams.
And among a stash of drug utensils in his bedroom, police found a sawn-off rifle. It was hidden underneath his pillow.
Cowlard was charged and released on police bail – but it wasn’t long before he was at it again.
On January 15, 2009, police searched Cowlard’s home and found 1.5g of cannabis and a water pipe. He was charged and released on bail again.
The court heard the last raid was on June 12 after police found a stash of drugs and cash on Cowlard’s person.
They had intercepted his vehicle for “acting suspiciously” and soon found he was carrying $600 cash, nine clipseal bags of meth and a mobile phone.
Police then went to his Kawungan home to search it for further drugs. They found a small amount of cannabis and a pipe.
The court heard that the whole time the mobile phone received text messages which “clearly amount to requests to be supplied with drugs”.
Ms Morgan said Cowlard went “cold turkey” after being charged and was working full-time. He had also repaired his relationship with his two children.
Justice Martin Daubney chastised Cowlard for his “stupid and dangerous” conduct before handing down a two-year jail term with immediate parole.
He took into account 279 days in pre-sentence custody.
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