A man turned to drugs when he lost his job during the pandemic, going down a ‘dark path’ in which he was ultimately convicted of 27 offences.
A man turned to drugs when he lost his job during the pandemic, going down a ‘dark path’ in which he was ultimately convicted of 27 offences.

‘I’ll ruin you’: Meth-head stalks roommate

The coronavirus lockdown was blamed for a 24-year-old Brisbane man's downward spiral into drugs that caused him to stalk a former roommate, steal stock from Bunnings Warehouse and travel with close to 400 grams of dangerous drugs.

Andrew Julian Stewart-Smith from Chermside West pleaded guilty to a staggering 27 charges over six months at the Sandgate Magistrates Court today.

Andrew Julian Stewart-Smith took a dark path into the world of drugs and addiction when he was made redundant during the coronavirus pandemic.
Andrew Julian Stewart-Smith took a dark path into the world of drugs and addiction when he was made redundant during the coronavirus pandemic.

Defence Lawyer Stephanie Tsimos from KLM Solicitors told the court Stewart-Smith lost his job at a caravan park in February due to the pandemic, which had "significant impact on his mental health and ultimately saw him walking down a very dark path".

The crime spree began on March 6 when a woman reported her luxury European car had been stolen from her garage in Richmond St, Gordon Park.

Polair later identified the Audi as it parked on Spitfire Ave in Strathpine.

Three men, including Stewart-Smith, were seen getting out of the car and were subsequently arrested and charged for unlawful use of a motor vehicle without the permission of its owner.

During a search of Stewart-Smith's home the following day, police discovered 1 gram of cannabis and a bong beside it.

For six weeks earlier that year, Stewart-Smith had shared a home with his friend of two years, 22-year-old Renee Lee Townsend, but the relationship soured after a drunken hook up led to unreciprocated feelings.

The court heard Stewart-Smith had become "possessive and controlling", prompting Ms Townsend to move out.

On March 21, Stewart-Smith turned up, uninvited, to a party at her home, telling guests he "needed [her]" and appearing agitated.

Police were called and Stewart-Smith left, opting instead to send upwards of 50 text messages over the course of the early morning, saying things such as, "I'm going to ruin you", "I'm going to kill myself and everyone will know you're to blame", and "I'm just about back at yours".

The victim and her mother saw Stewart-Smith walking near the fence line the next day, ran inside, and locked all the doors.

Stewart-Smith would go on to send another 100 text messages and make 70 phone calls, telling Ms Townsend, "You know I won't stop, call me or I swear to god, I'm going to jail."

He was apprehended two days later as he was caught on CCTV footage stealing a $99 blower kit from Bunnings Warehouse at Lawnton.

The young man's drug addiction seemed to worsen progressively from May to August, when on six separate occasions he was found with dangerous drugs or drug utensils, including syringes, used glass pipes, MDMA, methamphetamines, and restricted drugs he did not have a prescription for.

The largest quantity was seized on June 6 when police were called to reports of a woman getting out of a Toyota Hilux in Kedron and screaming at the driver.

The car was later found parked at an Oaks Hotel in Brisbane CBD and inquiries revealed Stuart-Smith, the owner of the car, had rented a room.

Inside the room police found 385 grams of cannabis, .9 grams of methamphetamines and. 2g of MDMA, placing the crime narrowly outside of the Supreme Court's jurisdiction according to comments later made by Magistrate Jennifer Batts.

Ms Tsimos told the court Stewart-Smith woke up in hospital in August after suffering from a drug-induced psychosis and overdose, at which point he knew enough was enough.

He has since made efforts to detox and rehabilitate with the assistance of his family and friends.

He was convicted and sentenced to two years of probation.

Originally published as 'I'll ruin you': Heartbroken meth-head stalks roommate



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