'Enormous stash' of ice, loaded handgun found in family home
POLICE found a loaded revolver and more than half a kilogram of the drug ice in raids on two homes where six children lived.
Officers also uncovered knuckledusters, an extendible police baton, drug utensils, marijuana and tens of thousands of dollars in cash at Cameron Christopher Dowd's homes.
Dowd - who once bashed a man so severely he suffered crippling brain injuries - stashed illicit items in lighting cavities and in the range hood of a stove.
The 29-year-old man's "terrible criminal history” includes armed robbery, burglary and car theft, Justice Graeme Crow revealed in Mackay Supreme Court.
Dowd faced the court in custody after separate raids at Oakenden in the Mackay region and at Frenchville, Rockhampton, in 2017.
Catching Dowd out in the first raid at Oakenden, police targeted him a second time and the list of allegations against him ballooned.
Dowd pleaded guilty to 13 charges in total, including possessing more than 200g of ice , possessing property obtained from supplying drugs, unlawfully possessing weapons, possessing explosives (ammunition), possessing tainted property and breaching bail.
He had been charged with possessing more than a kilogram (1000g) of ice, but Dowd instead admitted to possessing 592.4g of pure ice - labelled an "enormous stash” by Justice Crow.
For context, Some ice users are known to consume just 0.1g per hit.
During the hearing on Wednesday, Crown prosecutor Joshua Phillips described the presence of a loaded handgun and the ice stash in a family home as inviting disaster.
Mr Phillips said it "doesn't take much to imagine the carnage” which could ensue.
Justice Crow said Dowd's crimes had a "strong commercial element”, and he spoke of the havoc ice wreaks.
"I hope you understand that by getting involved in the commercial drug trade you are potentially visiting the misery which is currently your life on many, many people ... in the community, and this is why you're being locked up,” he said.
Justice Crow said it was often the case ice users became caught in the grips of addiction, before losing their jobs and resorting to property crime to support their destructive habit.
He said the use of the drug was seemingly rampant in the Mackay region.
Dowd began using marijuana as a young teenager before becoming addicted to harder drugs, his defence barrister Bronwyn Hartigan said.
She said her client had been living with depression, and a painful knee injury that prevented him from working had encouraged his ice use.
Ms Hartigan said Dowd's family strongly supported him and he had prospects of rehabilitating.
The lawyer pointed out Dowd's good behaviour, and employment in the mess, while jailed.
Justice Crow said the presence of a loaded gun in a Dowd's home was "terribly concerning” and he told Dowd it was time to choose his family over ice use.
Dowd had been hiding his ice use from his partner.
"If you choose drugs I'll see you again and I'll send you to prison for much, much longer,” Justice Crow warned.
Dowd was sentenced to 10 years' jail, but he will be eligible for parole on May 3, 2021, having already served 406 days in pre-sentence custody.
Before he was led back to the cells, Dowd hugged a woman who attended court in support.
Dowd's pants fell to the floor as he raised his arms, leading to some awkward chuckles in the usually sombre courtroom.