Man admits 'his' drugs were in car

AARON McQUEEN dashed straight down to Ballina police station as soon as he heard his mate had been arrested by police while driving McQueen's black Subaru and finding a stash of cocaine inside.

McQueen, 21, a concreter from East Ballina, pleaded guilty in Ballina Local Court this week to possession of a small quantity of cocaine on September 23.

Defence lawyer Ben Crawford argued for some leniency, saying it was his client's first offence.

He said McQueen was from a well-known business family who were shocked by their son's drug offence and arrest.

Mr Crawford said his client was a fit young man who had played rugby league and rugby union for Ballina and recently purchased his first home.

“He fessed up straight away,” he said.

In evidence before Magistrate Kim Pogson, McQueen's friend Nathan Reading was stopped in the Subaru by a police RBT in River Street at 6pm that day. Officers stated that after noticing he 'looked agitated and nervous' they asked him if there was anything in the car that shouldn't be there?

Mr Reading had replied: “It's not my car. It's my friend's car.”

A police search found a resealable plastic bag in the centre console containing a white rock substance. Mr Reading said he had never seen it before, repeating it was not his car.

He was arrested and taken to Ballina police station, where McQueen arrived at 6.40pm to claim possession of the Subaru.

When police asked him about the rock substance McQueen said: “Yes, it's mine.”

Weighed at three grams, McQueen admitted it was cocaine that he paid $500 for.

“I was going to snort it,” he said.

Mr Pogson warned McQueen cocaine was a dangerous drug and although he was healthy now he would not stay that way if he continued to use it.

“You have now been caught by the police and you will be under more scrutiny, so don't risk it. Get off it. Get on to something legal,” he said.

Mr Pogson found the offence proven, but dismissed the matter. He did not record a conviction and instead placed McQueen on a Section 10 good behaviour bond for 12 months.

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