Mine worker busted growing six dope plants in Collinsville
A Collinsville man caught growing six marijuana plants says he smoked the drug to help with back pain.
Stephen Leslie Echevarria faced Bowen Magistrates Court on Tuesday after police found the plants during a search along with a small amount of marijuana and a pipe in his bedroom.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Emma Myors told the court Echevarria admitted to police he cultivated the plants.
Echevarria pleaded guilty to producing and possessing dangerous drugs as well as possessing a pipe for smoking dangerous drugs.
Lawyer Leah McDonnell said Echevarria had worked in the mines since he was 15 and lived in Collinsville for most of his life.
Ms McDonnell told the court Echevarria's marijuana growing was "unsophisticated" and the drugs were for personal use.
"He instructs he has dabbled in that on the occasion when he has suffered back pain and it has only been in recent times," Ms McDonnell said.
The court heard the 51-year-old man had not fronted court before.
Magistrate James Morton told Echevarria he was "too old to be playing with drugs".
"The police turn up with a search warrant, you know how that comes about? Somebody's dobbed on you," Mr Morton said.
"Probably a good thing for you, this is got to be a wake-up call to you."
Echevarria was fined $500 and no convictions were recorded.