Star Jets player turned drug addict found with loaded gun

HE WAS once a Rookie of the Year with the Ipswich Jets, but the hopeful star footballer turned middle-aged drug addict now just wants to get away from the city.

Karl Anthony Beaton was stopped by police in Sunnybank in August last year in a stolen car with a loaded .22 handgun in the pocket of his jeans and 25 grams of methylamphetamine and $5000 in cash. He also had a piece of paper, with a list of names on it.

The drugs were of a high purity and were considered to be a commercial amount.

He also had a set of scales.

He pleaded guilty to the offences in Brisbane Supreme Court yesterday, with his defence counsel stating Beaton said he had finally broken the addiction cycle after having been in jail since the arrest.

Beaton, who played for the Jets in the early 2000s, has a lengthy criminal history of drugs, violence and property offences, with his traffic offences alone extending to five pages.

Justice Anne Lyons accepted Beaton, who started using drugs around 26, was a drug addict who was drawn into a web of criminality because of his affliction.

She said the fact that he pleaded guilty worked in mitigating his sentence, but that he was carrying a loaded weapon was very concerning.

"You're too old to be spending long periods of your life in custody," she told the 35-year-old.

The court heard Beaton was in a new relationship and was ready to turn his life around.

Justice Lyons sentenced him to three years, of which he had to serve a minimum of 12 months, which he had already performed prior to sentence.

She said it was commendable he was trying to start his life again, but told him he would have to work hard to do so.

- ARM NEWSDESK



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