Ex-police minister busted with ice and glass pipe
Party-loving former NSW police minister Matt Brown has been caught with a packet of the drug ice and a glass pipe on a night out at a casino in Queensland.
Brown, 46, appeared in Townsville Magistrates Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to drugs charges after being arrested at the Ville Casino on Monday night.
The court heard casino security spotted the former Labor MP, who resigned as police minister in 2008 after allegedly dancing in his underwear and simulating a sex act at an office party, trying to hide the pipe in a pot plant.
The court was told security officers found a small clip seal of meth on the floor about 9.55pm which video surveillance footage revealed had fallen out of Brown's front pocket.
When questioned by police, prosecutors said, Brown at first claimed he had found the 1.5g bag on the ground while walking around the city earlier that day and had decided to experiment with it. He later admitted to purchasing the meth.
Police Prosecutor Sergeant Rachel Todd said Brown told police he had gone to a tobacconist to purchase the pipe.
He was later seen removing the glass pipe from his bag and trying to conceal it in a pot plant outside the casino.
Brown, who lost his seat in parliament in 2011 and is now a Kiama councillor, pleaded guilty in court to a charge each of drug possession and possessing drug utensils.
Brown's defence lawyer said it was the first time his client had abused an illicit drug, describing it as a "terrible experience".
"He regrets it, it was out of character and a lapse of judgment on his part," he said.
The defence asked that a conviction not be recorded, as it would affect Brown's employment with the council.
The presiding magistrate fined Brown $500 and recorded no conviction.
Brown's downfall in politics came after only three days as his appointment as police minister in the Labor government of Nathan Rees when details emerged of a wild party in his office.
He was alleged at the time to have stripped to his underwear before simulating a sex act with Labor colleague Noreen Hay, and turning to her adult daughter and yelling: "Look at this, I'm titty f…ing your mother."
He later denied using those words and said the allegations were "generally not true".
Brown remained on the backbench until he lost his seat in 2011, but he made a return to politics in 2016 when he was elected to Kiama Council on the ALP ticket.
He is also the president of the Kiama branch of the Labor Party. Kiama Council had not commented on his future as a councillor in the wake of the charges.
Earlier this year it was reported Brown was considering standing for ALP preselection in his old seat. But he later ruled it out.
"I enjoy my community work, I enjoy my family time," he told the ABC.