Big Pineapple Music festival. The crowd enjoying the fray.
Big Pineapple Music festival. The crowd enjoying the fray. john mccutcheon

Fine after drug counsellor found with ecstasy tablets

A DRUG counsellor, caught with seven ecstasy tablets at the Big Pineapple Music Festival, has told a court he had taken the drugs from a friend and planned to flush them down the toilet.

Nathan Douglas Marriage, 37, of Maroochydore, and the friend, was spotted by police eyeing off drug detection dogs outside the festival entrance in April, and when approached by plain-clothes officers, he admitted he had the drugs in his pocket.

He apparently told the officers he was not a regular user but had "organised" the purchase of 10 tablets at $25 each, for the festival.

But Marriage's lawyer Chelsea Emery explained to Maroochydore Magistrates Court that the roadside confession was false.

"... he knew one of the friends had possession of ecstasy tablets; he made the decision to be the responsible one," Ms Emery told the court.

"(The friend) was going to take some of the tablets and hide them in the bush, and he (Marriage) was concerned who might find them. Although he admitted (to police) they were his and he used them, that was not the case."

Ms Emery noted Marriage was concerned about the effect a conviction for drug possession would have on his counselling career.

Magistrate Bernadette Callaghan told Marriage that someone in his position should have handled the situation better.

Marriage, with four drug possession convictions dating back to 1993, pleaded guilty to one charge of possession. He was fined $800. A conviction was recorded.