Bail decided for alleged Kingaroy drug trafficker
A KINGAROY man facing dozens of drug charges, including trafficking, will await his next court appearance behind bars after a magistrate declared him a risk to the community.
Michel John-Bruce Hood, 25, applied for bail before Kingaroy Magistrates Court, after spending 197 days in presentence custody. Hood was seeking bail for 59 charges, which had been referred to the Supreme Court.
Defence lawyer Jay Rose, from Rosegold legal, appeared on behalf of the defendant.
“He commenced the use of methamphetamine at the age of 18, and spent some time homeless as a result,” Ms Rose told the court.
“He wants to rehabilitate, obtain employment and be involved in the care of his children.”
“With respect to assessing whether there is an unacceptable risk of reoffending, which is the crux of the prosecution's objection to bail, the 59 counts that Mr Hood is charged with is to 19 people to the value of $5930, at a total alleged weight of 17.75 grams of methamphetamine,” Ms Rose told the court.
Ms Rose said there is a risk that, at 197 days in prison, Hood has already completed his prospective sentence.
Hood was arrested in Blackbutt and charged with 59 offences earlier this year, including 57 counts of supplying dangerous drugs and one count of trafficking and receiving or possessing property obtained from trafficking or supplying dangerous drugs.
He has since been remanded in custody since his arrest on May 25, along with his co-accused.
Hood’s charges came as part of the eight-month long Operation Butza, which started in September last year with the goal of locating South Burnett residents and properties involved in dangerous drug supply across the region.
Fourteen additional charges of supplying dangerous drugs were previously dealt with in the district court.
Magistrate Andrew Sinclair said delays inherent in Supreme Court matters pose a problem, since multiple years are taken for such matters to reach the high court.
“People charged with serious offences are left on bail and present a risk to the community for a long period of time,” Magistrate Sinclair said.
“There are risks to the community in allowing the defendant bail, particularly a person who is addicted to methamphetamine and notoriously offends and reoffends until they’re placed in custody.”
“Nothing stops a serious methamphetamine addict from committing offences except prison, and the effect of their conduct is to spread drugs into the community, which therefore encourages other people to take them, resulting in a high degree of violence being displayed by people affected.”
Bail was refused and the next mention was scheduled for March 1.