‘Drug guide’ snares former prisoner
A FINGERPRINT on an instruction booklet about cooking up methylamphetamine found in a prisoner’s jail cell was enough to bring him before a court two decades later.
Except the former prisoner was 3500kms away from Ipswich Magistrates Court when he appeared by phone on Friday to plead guilty to the charge from 20 years ago.
The court heard that Benjamin Bond had since reformed, was a qualified baker, with a lot of water passing under the bridge since the 2000-01 offence.
Dialling into the courtroom from Wyndham in the remote Kimberley Region of Australia’s Top End, Benjamin Malcolm Bond, 49, pleaded guilty to having unlawfully been in possession of instructions (document) for the production of methylamphetamine at the Numinbah prison farm between September 2000 and April 2001.
Bond also pleaded guilty to being in possession of the drug cannabis and drug utensils at Coolum in July 2003; and failing to attend court at Maroochydore in September 2003.
Prosecutor, Sergeant Molinaro said his fingerprint was on the document found in the jail cell on March 27, 2001.
It was a cell he shared with another inmate who was also charged.
Sgt Molinaro said that since then Bond, who grew up in Forbes, had gone before NSW courts in Orange and Kogarah.
He served a four-year jail term in Western Australia for assault causing bodily harm, and deprivation of liberty.
Defence barrister Christopher O’Meara said Bond was now a qualified baker and working in Wyndham.
He said he gained his qualification while doing a bakery apprenticeship as part of life skills courses as part of the WA sentence.
Bond has since successfully broken away from drug use.
“It’s become a good story,” Mr O’Meara said.
References were also tended from his employer, the court hearing that Bond was raising two sons in Wyndham and secured them both apprenticeships.
Sgt Molinaro said police sought forfeiture of the methylamphetamine instruction booklet.
“Oh, do police still have it then,” Mr O’Meara queried, with a laugh.
Magistrate Terry Duroux said Bond would have gone to jail if dealt with then back then.
He noted, however, the length of time and that a lot had since happened, with Bond reporting his rehabilitation, although this had taken him a long time to get there.
Bond was convicted and fined $2500.