Ice addict loses his cool during RBT
A FATHER of three was sentenced to prison today after pleading guilty to possession of about 55g of meth.
Brett Anthony Gerhardt faced Rockhampton Supreme Court charged with two separate counts of possession of54.956g and 0.041g of meth.
On July 24, 2018, Gerhardt, 45, and two other men were travelling from Brisbane to Mackay in a hire car.
Police had set up an RBT station on the Bruce Hwy near Roe St at Miriam Vale. A breath test was conducted on the driver, which resulted negative.
However, due to the behaviour of the three men in the vehicle they were detained by police and the vehicle was searched.
During the search police found drug-related items in the centre console of the car, including a large sandwich bag which contained 74.117g of crystalline substance, which was revealed to be 54.956g of pure meth.
In a smaller brown pouch was a pipe and a number of unused clip seal bags.
Gerhardt was searched and police found a small clip seal bag containing 0.041g of meth.
Each man was questioned at the scene and none of them admitted to possession of the meth in the console.
All men were interviewed by police, and Gerhardt told police the meth was his.
Gerhardt was arrested and spent 293 days in prison.
According to defence lawyer Tom Polley, Gerhardt started using meth shortly after his marriage of 10 years fell apart and he was not allowed to see his children.
"He hailed from a good family with good parental supervision and nurturing when growing up," Mr Polley said.
"He thought he was a social user and did not believe he had a problem up until he was incarcerated.
"In the years leading up to incarceration he was using at an alarming rate. He believed he was a functioning drug addict.
"It is only now he is in custody and clean he can see how much of an impact it had on his life and how it ruined his relationship with his children. His older child refuses to have anything to do with him.
"He sees his time in custody as a blessing and does not believe he would end up living much longer at the rate he was using the illicit substance."
The court heard Gerhardt had an impressive work history, including earthmoving and mining for 20 years.
Mr Polley said Gerhardt was confident he would have employment upon his release.
Justice Graeme Crow said Gerhardt was criminally liable to possession of the meth in the console because he knew it was there and he was in the car.
He said he understood his journey to the use of meth occurred after the marriage breakdown and loss of contact with his children.
"That is a common feature of people who turn to illicit drugs, but the drugs aren't going to help, they are just going to make it worse," Justice Crow said.
"You are 45, you have to man up and understand that.
"The way it has affected your life is the way it affects many other people's lives, it is a very powerful drug.
"That's why if you get tangled up and involved with commercial amounts of this drug you must go to jail."
Justice Crow said Gerhardt had a minor criminal history and no prior history with a commercial amount of meth.
Gerhardt was given a head sentence of three years' imprisonment, with a parole release date on June 23. The 293 days of pre-sentence custody was considered time served.