DRUG SUPPLY. Suspended greyhound trainer Anthony Hess leaves court after his conviction for drug offences.
DRUG SUPPLY. Suspended greyhound trainer Anthony Hess leaves court after his conviction for drug offences. Ross Irby

Meth risk to dogs lands trainer in court

GREYHOUND trainer Anthony Hess may have inadvertently put his dog Bonknocka at risk of drug contamination when a kennel area at his property was found to hold traces of methamphetamine.

It was not contaminated by Hess, but may have been caused by other drug users at the property.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard the greyhound trainer, whose licence remains suspended by the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC), had been supplying small amounts of drugs, cannabis, to people he knew.

A police search of his Camira property last year found cannabis and drug related text messages on his mobile phone.

Hess was charged with drug offences, and with failing his duty of care to two dogs in allowing them to be kept in an area where another person was allegedly storing methamphetamine.

Dressed in a bright red shirt, 44-year-old Anthony Charles Hess pleaded guilty to possession of dangerous drugs (cannabis) at Camira on August 16, 2018; supplying cannabis between July 26, 2017 and August 5, 2018; possession of property (mobile phone) used in connection with supplying a dangerous drug; and breach of his duty of care to two racing dogs Bonknocka Lass and Button Pusher.

In evidence put before the court by prosecutor Sergeant Chris O'Neill, the Queensland Racing Crime Squad and Ipswich Tactical Crime Squad searched the Pittman Court home on August 16, last year.

In the search 7.2 grams of green leafy material was found in a bowl in the lounge room. Hess told police he occasionally smoked cannabis.

Police seized his mobile phone and found a series texts referencing the supply of cannabis.

In some instances Hess tapped 'Got tums 200 if need bud'.. 'Slut hasn't paid the prize money 4 month', and 'Yep I'll bring 1 back down 430'.

Police said this was Hess offering to supply cannabis for $200.

In another instance Hess offered to supply a person with a quarter ounce of cannabis (seven grams) in messages between them: 'A hand ? Yeah my mate still wants a quarter of gt3bbn... Green for the front gate'.

Hess replies to that person saying - 'tums... righto do u have any that other $..ill get some of the other brushes'.

In October 2017 Hess supplied 7 grams of cannabis to another person, and in November 2017 offers to supply for $100. - 'right any chance of getting 100 off ya.. I can give ya more tums..'. which was followed by 'cant pay me n off to buy more... its pretty simple ir treating me like a fuck wit.. uve got a week to give me $..400'.

Other texts related to offers of supply in March and May 2018.

On June 3, 2018, Hess offered to supply a 'half bag' of cannabis.

Then on August 4 last year he also arranged to supply cannabis, tapping 'ill get tums and come down..bro just leaving mount walker.. followed by 'ill pick out something worth while..'

At the time of his arrest on September 28 last year Hess was a licensed participant in greyhound racing and the owner/trainer of several greyhounds.

When searching his property methylamphetamine, MDMA tablets, glass pipes and drug utensils were found by police.

Police charged two other occupants of the house with offences relating to these items.

Hess was not charged with any connection or involvement with this.

Items found in the kennel area police allege the presence of methylamphetamine was detected. However, tests have not been finalised and no charges relate to this.

Hess, pleaded guilty to breaching duty of care to two dogs in allowing them to be kept at a property where another person was using and storing methamphetamine.

Magistrate David Shepherd said Hess had allowed people to live on the property who he was aware were users of methylamphetamine.

He said two dogs had been at risk, although there had been no specific risk.

"It is not suggested that you were aware of the items found in the kennel area where the dogs were housed," Mr Shepherd said.

"Your training licence has been suspended. You have been deprived of much income and receiving social security payments."

Mr Shepherd said Hess did have drug history and suffered a work related injury, and (in the past) used these drugs for pain relief.

"But it does not explain the supply of drugs to others. It cannot be attributed to pain relief," Mr Shepherd said.

"It is an exchange of drugs for money."

Mr Shepherd sentenced Hess to eight months jail for the supply offences, and two months jail for possession of cannabis.

He noted Hess had spent 61 days held in custody to November 27 last year, and ordered the sentence be suspended after 61 days for two years.

Hess was convicted and fined $750 for breaching his duty of care to the dogs.

"The racing industry is an important one. It's integrity must be maintained," Mr Shepherd said.

"Not (by) tolerating drug users in the company of your dogs."

Mr Shepherd noted it was the racing industry that instigated the investigation.