Flood losses to blame for descent into drugs, crime

A BUSINESS owner caught with drugs has blamed the 2011 floods for his downfall.

Chi Cuong Pham, 37, from Goodna, appeared in the dock of Ipswich Magistrates Court and admitted to 14 offences, including multiple charges of possession of dangerous drugs and receiving tainted property.

Pham spent 85 days held in custody between his arrest and his sentencing.

Police prosecutor Ricky Tsoi said the offending was aggravated as the second lot of offences happened just weeks after he was charged with drug offences on May 1.

The court heard he was receiving property in exchange for drugs.

The offending took place at Collingwood Park and Goodna. Defence barrister Justin Thomas sought immediate parole and conceded that the second lot of charges aggravated Pham's offending.

Mr Thomas outline Pham's background, saying he was born in Malaysia after his parents fled Vietnam as refugees.

He began using heroin as a teenager in Melbourne, and his parents moved him away and opened a grocery store at Goodna. Pham settled down with his family working at the business, and later opened a second store in Darra.

Severe floods in 2011 ruined his Goodna store.

Mr Thomas said Pham ultimately lost both businesses, while his wife and child suffered ill health and, "he turned to illicit drug use to escape these fairly disastrous circumstances".

Magistrate Robert Walker said the drugs Pham was found with were methylamphetamine, MDMA, cocaine and cannabis.

Mr Walker clarified that the tainted property charges involved Pham having a generator, a compressor, a power drill and registration plates.

Pham was sentenced to nine months jail and three months jail for other offences including the Commonwealth offence of having counterfeit money.

With 85 days spent behind bars Pham was given immediate parole release and placed on a $1000 good behaviour bond.