Teenage drug supplier ‘preyed on vulnerable’, says court

A TOOWOOMBA teenager who supplied drugs to others had been "preying on vulnerable people", a magistrate said.

Magistrate Damian Carroll refused to accept Dean Bryce Houghton, 19, hadn't gained a benefit by selling the drugs, despite his solicitor's submission that the teenager claimed he had not.

Defence solicitor Phil Stainton told Toowoomba Magistrates Court his client instructed that he had supplied marijuana to others simply to cover the expenses of his own habit.

Police prosecutor Greg McIntyre said a covert police operation had watched as a car pulled up outside Houghton's Toowoomba home about 6pm on January 22.

Police saw a person get out of the vehicle and go inside the house before returning and driving off.

Officers who followed pulled the car over and were told by the occupant that he had just bought marijuana at the house.

Six days later, police searched Houghton's residence where he admitted to having a number of drug items including less than one gram of "gear" which he said he thought was amphetamine, one gram of marijuana, four pipes for smoking drugs, digital scales, two electric grinders and three pairs of scissors.

Houghton told police he used the scales to weigh the drug to make sure he hadn't been "ripped off" and that he used the grinders and scissors to cut up the plant.

He pleaded guilty to possessing and supplying dangerous drugs and possessing drug-related items.

Mr Stainton said his client admitted to smoking marijuana, but said he didn't use amphetamines.

The small amount of amphetamine found was not his but his client pleaded guilty on the basis the drug was found at his home, Mr Stainton said.

His client also instructed he had not used drugs since his arrest for these offences, he said.

Mr Stainton said his client had no relevant criminal history and submitted a period of probation as penalty.

Describing Houghton's behaviour in supplying drugs as "disgraceful", Mr Carroll placed him on 12 months probation to include random testing for drugs.

He also ordered he perform 80 hours of community service.



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