Teen failed to rehabilitate

A BROWN jail-issued tracksuit doesn’t look good on anyone, but a 19-year-old and his margarine container’s contents gave the justice system no choice but to send him to prison yesterday after numerous chances to rehabilitate were ignored.

Caleb Ezekiel Rogers (pictured) who is no stranger to the Warwick Magistrates Court and narrowly avoided time behind bars earlier this year, was back in the dock pleading guilty to possessing a dangerous drug and possessing drug utensils.

Police prosecutor Ken Wiggan said a margarine container under Rogers’ bed was his drug stash of choice when police searched his home.

“In the container were some zip-lock bags with two grams of cannabis, 28.9 grams of cannabis, two grams of cannabis seeds... and a water pipe,” the prosecutor said.

The Mt Colliery teen’s recent charges meant he had breached a probation order and was also non-compliant to his community service order. The court also heard as part of the parole order he was to submit to drug testing but two of Rogers’ urine tests returned a positive reading for cannabis.

Rogers’ defence counsel said his client had a long history of drug abuse and had “serious mental health issues”.

“(His mental health issues) are related to his cannabis use and he said he’s been a cannabis user – smoked cannabis – every day since he was 12 years old,” the defence said.

Magistrate Anne Thacker said the teen had lengthy traffic and criminal histories and had been given numerous opportunities to turn his back on dope.

“I have no choice but to impose a term of imprisonment,” Magistrate Thacker said.

“It was a significant amount of cannabis and does not constitute with someone trying to change their lifestyle.”

Rogers will be eligible for parole on September 13.

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