Tradie with broken skull turns to pot for pain
A TRADIE who was left with a shattered skull after being hit in the face by a 1kg compressor cap said he turned to marijuana to cope with the serious chronic pain he continues to battle.
Ashley John Matthew Francis also began supplying marijuana to fund his own drug habit.
Francis fronted Warwick Magistrates Court yesterday, just over one year after the horrific workplace mishap that could have cost him his life.
Francis pleaded guilty to five drugs charges, including supplying and possessing dangerous drugs as well as possession of utensils and property suspected of being used in connection with a drug offence.
The Daily News reported in April last year Francis was laying concrete at Warwick Hospital when he was struck in the face by the hand-sized cap that goes over a pipe used to spray down the work truck.
The force left Francis with bone fragments floating behind his eye and concussion.
Lawyer Clare Hine said Francis continued to suffer chronic headaches and serious pain after the incident.
"He recently required hospitalisation for pain management," Ms Hine said.
The court heard the 22-year-old has a permanent 5percent disability.
Ms Hine said Francis supplied marijuana over a two-month period to fund his own marijuana use, but was also found with marijuana, a grinder and pipe.
Francis reportedly made full admissions to police.
Acting Magistrate Jason Schubert acknowledged the severity of Francis's injuries during sentencing.
"Use of cannabis is still illegal, the supplying cannabis, whilst records indicate it was for a short period of time, was to get free cannabis yourself," Mr Schubert said.
"It's not a supply in form of an enterprise, (but) it's still a very serious charge to supply drugs to others."
Noting Francis had no prior criminal history and was relatively young, Mr Schubert ordered the Warwick man to serve 10 months probation.
He warned Francis not to commit another offence or he could face a harsher penalty.