Judge reveals most important thing to stop men going to jail
A JUDGE presiding over the Warwick court has exposed a major factor that he says can prevent men from committing crimes and landing in jail.
In Warwick District Court today, Judge David Reid told drug supplier Allan William Ryan-Mason regular employment was the best form of rehabilitation for young men.
"I'm sick of saying in this court that statistics show that the chances of you going to jail are 45 times greater if you don't have long-term employment than if you do,” Judge Reid said.
"Almost everyone in prison hasn't had long-term employment when they get there. If they did, they wouldn't get there.”
Judge Reid voiced the statistic to explain why he would not record a conviction against Ryan-Mason, who pleaded guilty to seven counts of supplying dangerous drugs.
The fines were committed over 15 days in April and May 2017.
The court heard Ryan-Mason supplied marijuana on two occasions, while the other two supply charges related to agreements to deal either marijuana or pills.
Lawyer David Jones argued Ryan-Mason should not have a conviction written against his name as he was in the advanced stages of applying for a technical job with the navy.
Mr Jones told the court he worked as a legal officer in the Australian Defence Force and knew there was a zero-tolerance approach to drug use, including routine tests and giving a daily presentation condemning drug use.
The court heard that while it was nearly impossible for those caught with a positive drug test to stay in the ADF, recording a conviction might hinder Ryan-Mason's chances of being accepted in the first place.
"His drug use has a sad story to it...he was only 12 when he started smoking cannabis. He then moved on to a harder drug,” Mr Jones said.
"He's lost a lot of friends and a lot of family support through the early addiction but he instructs that's something he's confident he's overcome.”
Crown Prosecutor Chontelle Farnsworth said Ryan-Mason's crimes were serious and his sentence must act as a deterrence.
Judge Reid sentenced Ryan-Mason, who was formerly living in Warwick but is now based in Brisbane, to 18 months' probation.
The judge added he hoped Ryan-Mason, 23, would reap the benefits of employment that helped keep people out of jail.
"They get self-respect from working, mix with pro-social people and have meaning and purpose in their life,” Judge Reid said.
"If you can join the navy then I'm sure you'll feel the same way.”