Andrew Brauner, 52, from Woodwark.
Andrew Brauner, 52, from Woodwark.

Paraplegic man faces court for buying drugs on dark web

A paraplegic Whitsunday man has avoided jail for serious drug charges after a judge told him “prison authorities would have great difficulty looking after you”.

Andrew Karl Brauner, 52, faced Mackay District Court on Friday charged with a string of drug offences after Australian Border Force officers raided his home in 2018.

The court heard the officers had intercepted a package, containing 0.858 grams of pure heroin, on its way to Brauner’s Woodwark home in February 2018.

When border force officers searched Brauner’s home on July 15 2018, he admitted to buying the heroin on the dark web.

Officers also found dried marijuana, an uncapped syringe and a hydroponics set-up during the search.

On April 6 2020, police searched his home again and found dried marijuana, marijuana plants and drug equipment.

The court heard Brauner became a paraplegic after a workplace accident in 1989 and had used drugs to self-medicate for his chronic pain since then.

Judge Paul Smith urged Brauner to continue his efforts in accessing legal medicinal cannabis.

“I’m satisfied you shouldn’t go to jail,” Judge Smith said.

“I think prison authorities would have great difficulty looking after you.”

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Brauner pleaded guilty to producing, supplying and possessing dangerous drugs and a number of other minor drug offences.

Judge Smith sentenced Brauner to 15 months jail, wholly suspended for 12 months.

Convictions were recorded.

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