Man couldn't do community service because of crushed car

A MAN who said he could not complete his community service sentence because his car was crushed in the Burrum Heads tornado has received a suspended prison sentence.

Paris Kane Watson pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court to failing to comply with his community service order, along with another charge of growing cannabis.

Watson was ordered to serve 80 hours of community service for a burglary charge in May last year.

The court heard Watson had not served a single one of those hours, which he claimed was due to his car being destroyed in the tornado that hit Burrum Heads earlier this year.

Duty lawyer Justin Geldard said Watson's guilty plea showed acceptance of the fact he should have at least made a start on the hours in the months preceding the tornado.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Tanya Griffith said Watson was also found to be growing two marijuana plants - each about 75cm high - and he had a large number of marijuana branches drying out at his Burrum Heads home on January 31.

Watson attempted to tell police the plants were not his, and were already at the home when he moved in, but eventually admitted to growing them, Snr Const Griffith said.

Snr Const Griffith said Watson had a history of drug-related offences, and asked for a prison sentence to be imposed.

Mr Geldard said this was Watson's first drug offence in six years.

Mr Tatnell noted the amount of time that had passed since Watson's last drug offence, but also said he was concerned about the offender's lack of effort in completing the community service order.

Watson was sentenced to four months' jail, which was immediately suspended. Mr Tatnell said the sentence would hang over Watson's head for18 months, and any offence in that time could see him serving four months in jail.

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