Recovering drug addict praised by magistrate
IT'S rare to front court and get praised by a magistrate.
But that's exactly what happened to recovering drug addict Nicholas Peter Rodgers at Yeppoon last Thursday.
The 35-year-old pleaded guilty to possessing one gram of cannabis in a bag he was carrying when stopped by police in Yeppoon on August 10.
Instead of getting a lecture from Magistrate Jeff Clarke, Rodgers received praise for what he'd done to rehabilitate himself since last falling foul of the law.
The court heard that Rodgers had received help from at least four official support networks including a mental health service as well as the Alcohol and Other Drugs Services (AODS).
Rodgers' lawyer tendered support letters from those organisations which Mr Clarke spent time reading and was clearly impressed with.
"You have quite a significant history...with a reliance upon on these drugs for a long period of time," Mr Clarke said.
"And sadly you were experiencing problems with your mental health which is commonly seen as a consequence of long-term cannabis use.
"I'm very, very impressed by the efforts that you've made - you are to be congratulated for that.
"You've paid the ultimate price of having your children being cared for by someone else and obviously you're trying to do your best to right all of that up, so good on you."
Mr Clarke continued by offering Rodgers some advice.
"It's obviously a really hard habit to break - you need to make sure that you keep on the right path, keep away from the associates that you've had.
"Rid yourself of those associations, surround yourself with positive people, and move forward positively."
Rodgers was placed on probation for six months.