Clinton James Pirritt, 41, pleaded guilty to three charges related to a failed drug test while he was trout fishing in Central Queensland.
Clinton James Pirritt, 41, pleaded guilty to three charges related to a failed drug test while he was trout fishing in Central Queensland.

CQ fisherman in court for drug use

A trout boat worker whose fishing vessel was intercepted by Yeppoon water police was "high" while working at sea, a court has heard.

Clinton James Pirritt, 41, pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Monday to two counts of failing to appear in accordance with an undertaking and driving a fishing vessel while a relevant drug was present in blood or saliva.

Police prosecutor Merrilyn Hoskins read the facts of Pirritt's case to the court and Acting Magistrate Mark Morrow.

On February 10, 2019, officers from the Yeppoon Water Police were patrolling Swain's Reef as part of an operation.

At 1pm police reported the sighting of a commercial fishing vessel which had six tender vessels, known as dories, which were manned by one member of the crew each.

The master of the main vessel told police all six dories had returned at various times throughout the morning and afternoon from 11.30am to 1pm.

The master provided the names of all six dory operators and Pirritt was interviewed after being identified as a driver.

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Pirritt submitted to a drug test, which returned a positive result for a relevant substance, and he was transported to the police vessel for further analysis.

While on board the police vessel, Pirritt made admissions to recent drug use and a specimen of his saliva was sent to QPS's scientific services branch where cannabis was detected.

On May 30, 2020, Pirritt was granted release from the Yeppoon watch-house after signing an undertaking to appear in the local Magistrates Court on June 18, 2020, however, he failed to appear.

On September 2, 2020, Pirritt attended the Gladstone Police station and said he was away for work and failed to appear in court - he was arrested a short time after.

Pirritt was processed through the watch-house and released on an undertaking to appear in the Gladstone Magistrates Court on September 21, 2020, but he failed to appear once again.

Another warrant for his arrest was issued and Pirritt was arrested by police at the Yaralla Sports Club at Barney Point on January 2, 2021.

Pirritt told police he often worked away and must have been away when his court matter was heard, adding he had tried to make arrangements prior to leaving for work.

Mr Morrow fined Pirritt $750 with convictions recorded.
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