Drug addict escapes jail time after guilty plea

BY THE time Paul Frank Kattenberg reached Brisbane's District Court, he had lost his job, his father, and control over a drug addiction.

For the moment, he still has his freedom.

The 43-year-old Maryborough man faced Chief Judge Patricia Wolfe on Wednesday morning, pleading guilty to drugs charges after police found him on May 14, 2013 with a dose of fluoromethamphetamine, scales and one used pipe.

Less than a week before being caught with the narcotics, Kattenberg had pleaded guilty in Maryborough Magistrates Court to four charges including the possession of methylamphetamine, marijuana and drug utensils.

He was fined $1750 at the time with the judge noting it had been 10 years since Kattenberg had been run afoul of the law.

When he stood in court to enter his plea on Wednesday, Kattenberg kept his hands behind his back, nervously squeezing his left thumb with his right hand until he was asked to sit.

His mother watched on from the gallery, alongside his current partner.

The three sat in court for about an hour before Kattenberg's name was read out.

The court heard Mr Kattenberg was forced to sell the family's pet aquarium business when his father became terminally ill.

Mr Kattenberg then became his dad's full-time carer until he died three years ago.

From there, Kattenberg began using drugs.

Defence barrister Simon Lewis said the three charges were "tinged" with selling because he and friends had pooled money to buy narcotics.

He said Kattenberg had the scales to ensure he and his mates were not ripped off by their supplier.

Since being charged, the court was told Kattenberg now visits a rehabilitation program run by the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service.

Judge Wolfe sentenced Kattenberg to 240 hours community service.

She urged him to shake off his drug addiction, or risk jail.

"Continue with your drug addiction therapy or you will end up in prison for most of your life, which is what we see every day."

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