Druggie ran from police into ocean and went for a swim

A BAG of methamphetamines distracted police, giving a man the opportunity to run from them and into the ocean to avoid arrest.

Todd Henry Irwin Latham, 31, pleaded guilty on November 24 in the Supreme Court in Rockhampton to one count of possessing a dangerous drug in excess of two grams, one of supply a dangerous drug and nine minor charges.

The court heard Latham was spotted by police in Emu Park on October 9, 2019, driving a gold Hyundai Accent with number plates belonging to another vehicle attached.

They approached him as he was parked outside the grocery store and he told them he had purchased the vehicle months earlier and was told the plates attached did belong to the Accent.

Police observed cleanser on the back seat and a black sunglasses case in the driver’s door, not quite closed, containing a bag of crystal substance.

Justice Graeme Crow said while the police officers’ attention was on the bag, Latham ran from the vehicle.

Police yelled “stop! Police.”

Latham continued running towards the Singing Ship, then down onto the beach and went swimming in the ocean.

He returned to the beach after a while and told police he ran because the bag contained ‘ice’.

Police also found a blister packet of codeine and one of lyrica, along with scales, syringes and a mobile phone.

The meth weighed 2.39g.

Justice Crow said Latham told police he had smoked one point (of meth) at 1am and he ran because he thought he was going to be drug tested.

He said he also told them he had purchased synthetic urine to cheat the test.

Latham, who has a four-page criminal record including 13 sentences in the magistrates courts, was on parole at the time.

The court heard Latham came from a good family and had an excellent work history until 2016 due to drugs wrecking his life.

He was introduced to drugs at any early age, but took a break from using drugs until 2012 and his life went downhill from there with a relationship break down in 2019 and other life events.

Justice Crow sentenced Latham to 18 months prison with parole eligibility on March 21, 2021, with 63 days presentence custody declared. Convictions were recorded.