Drug stand-off led to robbery
A FRENCH traveller who wanted to buy drugs off an Ipswich lad was robbed of his mobile phone when the drug deal soured.
The two-year-old criminal case was resolved when the offender Jake McCann went before Ipswich District Court for sentence.
The delay was due to McCann bolting to Melbourne to get a job before moving north to Cairns to be with his lover.
Appearing from jail via video-link, Jake Peter McCann, 24, pleaded guilty to robbery with violence at Bellbird Park on April 22, 2018; committing fraud between April 22 and May 13, 2018; and supplying schedule 2 dangerous drug - cannabis, at Bellbird Park on April 22, 2018.
The court heard when the two men met near an alleyway the French man demanded that McCann "show me the weed before I buy it".
McCann said he wanted to steal it then grabbed the man by his shirt.
Crown prosecutor Cameron Wilkins said McCann had since spent 177 days in jail (nearly six months) that could not be declared for these offences.
He said McCann was aged 22 at the time and later failed to appear at court and avoided sentence until being arrested in Cairns.
"It was a drug deal that went wrong," Mr Wilkins said.
"He arranged to supply cannabis to the other male. They did not trust each other and one wanted to see the cannabis and one wanted to see the money first."
"He (McCann) took off with his mobile phone and sold it for $450 or $500."
Defence barrister Justin Thomas said McCann went to Melbourne to take up a job offer in demolition work.
"Says he was in Melbourne when he ought to have been in court," Mr Thomas said.
"He relocated to far north Queensland where his partner was.
"Probably not there much more than a few weeks (before his arrest)."
Mr Thomas said McCann with the prospect of jail did not go to court and now suffer the consequences being held in custody since his arrest in November.
Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren SC dryly noted that if he had previously turned up at court he would now be out.
Mr Thomas said he was keen to get out, and McCann instructs his drug use ceased when he went to Melbourne to do demolition work and had to stop because of worksite drug testing.
He did not take it up again in Cairns.
"He had a significant methylamphetamine (ice) addiction," Mr Thomas said.
"The circumstances of the robbery are at the low-end of the scale.
"It was somewhat spontaneous and arose out of a degree of mistrust between these two people as to who would provide the money first or the drugs first."
"It is not clear in the Crown facts if there were any drugs or it was a ruse," queried Judge Horneman-Wren.
Mr Thomas said McCann acknowledges his absconding had not assisted the legal process taking its course.
"If he faced the music last year then he would be in a situation where he would be supported (by supervision) but he will not have that when he gets out. Missed that boat," Judge Horneman-Wren said.
Judge Horneman-Wren then revealed the agreed Crown facts of the case and put them on the record, saying McCann used the internet in an offer to supply a half pound of cannabis to the French national.
"You arranged for him to attend and he turned up to purchase drugs," Judge Horneman-Wren said.
"You asked for the money and he was not going to part with his cash until he saw the drugs.
"You were physically aggressive and robbed him of his iPhone which you sold on Gumtree a few days later."
He noted that McCann has prior offences for burglary unlawful use of stolen cars, drugs, stealing and fraud, but not for violence.
He said it was to McCann's credit that he'd stopped his methylamphetamine use but his use of cannabis continued.
McCann had been in jail nearly six months (not all declared) and Judge Horneman-Wren told him to expect differences when released from jail because of COVID-19 that he'd probably read about.
"It is a changed world that you will re-emerge into. It will be a challenge to you out there and work may not be readily available."
He warned that as a parolee he can expect to be drug tested and should not take the easy option to slide back and smoke pot.
McCann was sentenced to an 18-month jail term for the robbery with lesser jail terms on the other offences. He was granted immediate parole.