Stanthorpe dad of three ‘humiliated’ after 2.45kg drug bust
A STANTHORPE dad of three and full-time carer who was busted growing 2.45kg of marijuana said he was “too embarrassed” to be seen outside for months following the police raid.
Brett Daniel Hillis’ Stanthorpe home was searched in February, where police uncovered four marijuana plants, drying racks, pipes and other drug utensils.
The 54-year-old admitted to police the drugs were his but were only intended for personal use, according to Crown Prosecutor Catherine Birkett.
Lawyer Dorothy Switala told the Warwick District Court Hillis was too “humiliated” to face his neighbours of seven years following the raid.
“As often happens in small rural communities, everyone knows what you’re doing,” she said.
“He’s an avid gardener, and he tells me for three months he was too embarrassed to go out into his yard after what occurred.”
Ms Switala told the Warwick District Court Hillis’ turn to drug use stemmed from a number of struggles over his life.
Hillis is the full-time carer for one of his daughters, and his wife of 30 years and sole breadwinner of the family was left incapacitated after a hip replacement.
The family’s rental property had also been ‘trashed’ by tenants, resulting in significant financial stress, the court heard.
“It was a quite traumatic time for him and it was around this time, things built up as far as mental health and his capacity to cope with what was occurring,” Ms Switala said.
“The defendant does indeed do everything for his family.”
Judge Tony Moynihan took Hillis’ subsequent engagement in Drug Arm programs into account when sentencing.
“You have endured some financial distress and you were suffering anxiety and depression at the time you offended,” he said.
“You have since then changed your lifestyle.”
Hillis pleaded guilty to producing dangerous drugs in excess of 500g, possessing a thing used in connection with producing dangerous drugs and possessing utensils used in relation to a drug offence.
He was fined $1800 and no conviction was recorded.
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