GENERIC PIC: Detectives from Armadale Police raid a house in Gosnells, where 94 cannabis plants were found.
GENERIC PIC: Detectives from Armadale Police raid a house in Gosnells, where 94 cannabis plants were found.

DRUG BUSTS: Gympie men and women face court for weed

Gympie Magistrate Court hears a large volume of drug-related matters every week and this week was no different.

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In fact, throughout last year, Gympie police recorded 3421 drug offences in total and a significant amount of those involved marijuana.

Here are four Gympie residents who either possessed or produced marijuana and found themselves in Gympie Magistrates Court on Monday (March 1).

1. Loris Kerslake 

64-year-old Loris Ellen Kerslake was caught producing and possessing marijuana and was also caught with a water pipe.

When police searched Kerslake’s home on February 16, they found dried cannabis and a water pipe.

Police prosecutor Michael Phillips told the court on Monday Kerslake then took the detectives to a fenced garden area where six plants ranging between 1-2m were growing.

“She stated that she used the glass pipe to smoke cannabis for medicinal relief as she suffered from continual pain from a bleed on her brain in 2011.”

Kerslake pleaded guilty to the three charges in Gympie Magistrates Court and told Magistrate Chris Callaghan she was on a disability pension.

“It [marijuana] is better than the drugs they give you that have 500 odd side effects to them,” Kerslake said.

For the 20g of cannabis, seven plants and water pipe, Kerslake was fined $400. Convictions were not recorded.


2. Richard Booth

Richard John Booth, 49, pleaded guilty to three charges of producing marijuana, possessing marijuana and having a water pipe.

On June 6, last year, police searched Booth’s Widgee house at 5:10pm and found a hydroponic set-up consisting of water pumps, LED lights, fertiliser and six small seedlings.

Police also found a water pipe in the lounge room, 13 grams of cannabis in the living room and scales.

On a disability pension for back issues, the truck driver had a previous drug conviction in 1999.

Magistrate Chris Callaghan fined him $600 and convictions were recorded.

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3. Natarsha Russ

Natarsha Lee Russ, 29, was busted with marijuana at Curra on February 3, 2021, and also had a water pipe and grinder.

Russ pleaded guilty to the offences in Gympie Magistrates Court and agreed to attend a drug assessment and education session on March 12.

Magistrate Chris Callaghan put Russ on a good behaviour bond for four months.

4. Jack Pearce

Twenty-four-year-old Jack David George Pearce was caught on January 29, at Wallangarra with marijuana and scissors.

Pearce pleaded guilty to the two offences and was put on a good behaviour bond for four months, under the condition that he attend a drug assessment and education session on March 12.

Gympie Times


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