Man who used meth to lose weight now faces jail
IF YOU think you've seen some of the most dangerous drivers in Australia after watching years of R BT re-runs on Channel 9, think again.
This week, the Kingaroy Magistrates Court heard how a 63-year-old Nanango man caused a three-vehicle traffic crash along the Bruce Highway in November while adversely affected by an intoxicating substance.
Kenneth Roy Smith appeared before the court on Wednesday, March 18 via video link from within Murgon Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to 10 charges, including dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, two counts of driving under the influence of liquor, driving unlicensed, driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle, three charges of breaching bail conditions and one count of possessing dangerous drugs.
Smith appeared in the docks looking dishevelled and physically uncomfortable, and later admitted to the court he had difficulty standing for long periods of time due to severe back pain.
Smith's duty lawyer, Chris Campbell from Woods Murdoch Solicitors, told the court his client began using methamphetamines four years ago as a fast way to lose weight.
"My client has informed me he's had two open heart surgeries throughout his life and four years ago he weighed in at an alarming 120kg," Mr Campbell said.
"His doctor informed him it was in his best interests to lose some weight and Mr Smith thought the fastest way to achieve this would be to start using methamphetamine."
Mr Campbell then explained the defendant had struggled to stop using the highly addictive substance ever since.
Smith revealed he had been attending counselling sessions at Lives Lived Well in Kingaroy to try and address his drug dependency issues, but no evidence of his sessions was presented in court.
Police prosecutor Barry Stevens presented Smith's three-page criminal history, two-pages of traffic history and six-pages worth of sentencing schedule to the court, detailing the defendant's alarming but sporadic history of run-ins with the law, the most recent dating back to 2003.
The court heard how Smith came to cause a three-vehicle accident in the small town of Tiaro last November while heavily intoxicated by a substance.
On November, 7, 2019, Smith was seen driving erratically along the Bruce Highway before he ran into the back of a vehicle, which ended up off the road.
Smith then proceeded to strike a second vehicle in a head-on collision.
Snr Sgt Stevens revealed Smith told authorities he was under the impression his vehicle was being shot at on the highway, which prompted him to drive in such an evasive manner.
Magistrate Louise Pink said there was extensive damage to both vehicles.
"Fortunately for you, the passenger in that vehicle only suffered pain and bruising," Ms Pink said.
"Your attitude to your fellow citizens is of considerable concern and the danger you placed them in is worrying."
After the incident in September, Smith was subsequently caught driving under the influence of liquor and/or drugs on December 23, 2019, and again on March 16, 2020.
"There is nothing before me today that shows anything to suggest you have prospects of rehabilitation," Ms Pink said.
Snr Sgt Stevens ultimately argued for Smith to serve 12-18 months' imprisonment as well as a three to four-year licence disqualification and an absolute disqualification on all charges.
Ms Pink convicted and sentenced Smith to serve a 12-month term of imprisonment for the count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and a three-month sentence for each count of driving under the influence, to be served cumulatively.
She also ordered for Smith to be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for four years.
His parole release date was set for June, 17, 2020.