Ex-soldier fronts Bowen court over string of drug offences
A FORMER soldier has been sentenced in Bowen six years after he caused a road crash while driving with multiple drugs in his system.
This year he was caught on different occasions with drugs in his possession, sending his charge total to 13 offences when he faced Bowen Magistrates Court.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Jay Merchant told the court in August 2014, Blake William Phillip Greaves was riding a motorbike in Townsville when he stopped behind a car at an intersection.
Sgt Merchant said while the car was waiting to make a turn, Greaves revved his motorbike and attempted to overtake the car, driving on the wrong side of the road.
The court heard an oncoming car crashed into Greaves' motorbike, causing major damage to both vehicles.
"The defendant crawled to the side of the road and witnesses called for help," Sgt Merchant said.
Sgt Merchant said Greaves was taken to hospital and a sample of blood was taken, showing he had amphetamines, morphine and methylamphetamine in his system. He was also unlicensed.
The court heard after the crash, police could not find Greaves so an arrest warrant was issued.
Years later in February of this year, Greaves was caught with about 47g of marijuana during a search in Kelso, then in July he was found with a folding knife when a vehicle he was travelling in was searched.
Sgt Merchant said in October this year, Greaves was again found with small amounts of marijuana, meth and cocaine when police pulled up a car in Bowen.
Greaves was failed to appear in court that month but police picked him up in November in Bowen.
At the same time, officers found marijuana and drug utensils in the house.
Appearing in court via videolink from police custody, Greaves pleaded guilty to 13 charges including driving without due care and attention, drug driving, possessing dangerous drugs and failing to appear in court.
Lawyer Peta Vernon said Greaves, 29, hadn't been actively avoiding police, he had held various jobs including cane harvesting, landscaping and managing a caravan park in the years since the crash.
The court heard the Kelso man joined the army at age 17 and was deployed to East Timor.
But in 2013 he had a rough time - when his mother died and he hit his boss's fiance with a truck - which led to him facing a court trial three years later to be found not guilty.
"The trial took its toll, he spent his life savings on his defence," Ms Vernon said.
"He was essentially pushed out of the army because of who she was."
Ms Vernon said the past few years had been tough for Greaves, who had separated himself from his sisters.
Magistrate James Morton told the father of one he was lucky to still be alive after the motorbike crash six years ago.
"You have a criminal history that speaks volumes about what's happened in your life since 2013," Mr Morton said.
"Things have gone awry for you in your army career, which is a sad aspect, it shouldn't be forgotten that you've done that job."
Mr Morton sentenced Greaves to four months' jail and immediately suspended the term.
Given he had already spent 20 days in police custody, he will now have three months and 10 days jail hanging over his head for 15 months.
Greaves was also fined $1900 and disqualified from driving for two years and two months.