Cannabis at 11. Speed at 13. Did this druggie have a chance?

STEVEN Thomas Wegert grew up in a house where drugs and violence were just a way of life.

He was smoking cannabis by the age of 11 and by 13, he was injecting amphetamine.

At 21, Wegert was dealing drugs to fuel his own habit.

But the 23-year-old will now spend over a year behind bars after facing a string of drugs and weapons charges in the Supreme Court at Rockhampton on Thursday.

Wegert pleaded guilty to charges of trafficking, supplying, producing and possessing dangerous drugs, possessing restricted drugs, possessing utensils and items related to crimes, and possessing unlawful weapons and explosives.

Crown Prosecutor Joshua Phillips said Wegert was charged in July 2014 after police searched his house.

He said they found drug utensils, cannabis and capsules of pain killer tramadol.

A 7mm centre fire bolt action rifle was found stripped into parts and hidden around Wegert's bedroom, along with 35 0.22 calibre cartridges.

Mr Phillips said mobile phone data and police interviews had revealed Wegert had been trafficking dangerous drugs for about six months to roughly 15 people.

The court heard phone records also indicated Wegert was intending to produce methamphetamine, attempting to obtain pseudoephedrine.

He said Wegert was "owed a large amount of money", including $5400 at one point.

Defence barrister Ross LoMonaco said Wegert did not source or use the rifle, but kept it at the request of his stepfather.

Mr LoMonaco said Wegert didn't know how to produce methamphetamine alone and hadn't made any drugs.

He said Wegert "really had nothing to show" for the drug sales, using the money to satisfy his own habit.

The court was told Wegert grew up in a house where drug use and domestic violence were commonplace and turned to heavy drugs like amphetamine.

However, Mr LoMonaco said Wegert had avoided those heavy drugs since his first prison sentence despite continuing to use cannabis.

Mr LoMonaco said Wegert was on the road to rehabilitation and knew he had to give up all drugs.

"He's hoping this is the last period of incarceration he'll ever have to serve," he said.

Justice Duncan McMeekin said Wegert's history of offending was probably explained by his "difficult" upbringing, but the charges he pleaded guilty to were "very serious".

Justice McMeekin gave a head sentence of three years imprisonment, with parole on August 5, 2017.

A suspension on a second prison sentence, being served concurrently, will be operational for five years after August 5, 2017. 



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