Man pleads guilty to drug charges
A MAN who pleaded guilty in the Warwick Magistrates Court yesterday to multiple drug and stealing charges has been remanded in custody for final sentencing next month.
Anthony Bernard Merrick, 34, of Stanthorpe, appeared before Magistrate Anne Thacker charged with 20 offences committed between February and July this year.
The court heard Merrick had been required to attend a drug diversion course in February but had failed to do so, resulting in a charge of contravening a lawful direction.
Merrick, who has an extensive criminal history in New South Wales, stole a large amount of property from numerous locations in the Stanthorpe area on or about July 19.
These included quantities of such personal items as jewellery, wallets, purses, sunglasses, music players and mobile phones from residential and business premises, and from unlocked vehicles during his two-month spree.
In one instance, he stole property from the office of a counsellor at Stanthorpe Hospital with whom he was undergoing sessions.
Most of the property was recovered by police acting on a search warrant at his Stanthorpe residence.
Merrick was also found to be in possession of a quantity of cannabis and a small quantity of methamphetamine for his personal use, which duty solicitor Phil Crook said was used for pain relief.
Mr Crook also told the court his client was addicted to Valium and morphine and drug-minimisation therapy rather than prison would be advisable.
Merrick is already serving a three-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, for previous offences, with Ms Thacker adjourning final sentencing until August 4.