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Ambo fined for drug stash

A FORMER Bundaberg paramedic was fined a total of $1000 yesterday for possessing dangerous and restricted drugs including morphine.

John Patrick Hinder, 45, pleaded guilty to possessing morphine and ketamine and possessing restricted drugs.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens said the drugs were found after police had raided Hinder's Urangan home on July 12, 2009.

During that search, Hinder told police about a boat he owned which was moored at Burnett Heads.

Sgt Stevens said during a search of the boat on the same day, police found quantities of morphine, ketamine and methoxyflurane in a plastic first-aid kit on the boat.

Ketamine and methoxyflurane can both be used as anaesthetics and, in emergency cases, as a pain killer.

“He informs me that as a part of our discussions that the morphine was used as a part of his job in Mackay and he simply never returned it,” Sgt Stevens said.

The prosecutor said Hinder had told him it was an oversight on his part.

Hinder, who represented himself, said he had acted in good faith in regards to the drugs.

“The drugs in my possession are consistent with ones which I would usually have on me in the course of my work,” he said.

Hinder told the court he had resigned his commission as a flight paramedic after a long shift and simply forgot to return the drugs.

He said he then stored them in a way he believed to be safe.

Hinder has been stood down without pay from the Queensland Ambulance Service since the charges were laid in 2009.

Magistrate John Smith said he took into account the nature and seriousness of the charges.

“I can't understand that you would get involved and not make arrangements to have the drugs returned,” he said.

Mr Smith fined Hinder $500 for each of the charges, but did not record a conviction against him.

“You have suffered a detriment in that you have been without payment from your employer,” he said.

Mr Smith said Hinder could apply to work the fines off through unpaid community service.

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