How killer teen grew up to be a drug dealer
A TOOWOOMBA teenager who bashed an 86-year-old war veteran to death in his own home has been jailed for drug dealing 15 years later.
The now 29-year-old, who cannot be named because he was sentenced for murder as a juvenile in 2006, had served just five years detention for the brutal murder of Milne Bay veteran Stanley Smith who was bashed with a piece of wood as he watched TV in his Clifford St home on the night of November 12, 2004.
Mr Smith had been murdered for the paltry sum of $8 which had been stolen by the 14-year-old and his 16-year-old male accomplice.
Mr Smith had been struck eight times to the head and neck with the piece of wood, Crown prosecutor Caroline Marco told Toowoomba Supreme Court.
The pair in 2006 pleaded guilty to Mr Smith's murder and also to the bashing of a woman in her home nearby a few weeks earlier.
The 66-year-old woman had been struck a number of times with the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner and "played dead" on the floor as the pair rummaged through her home.
Fifteen at the time of his sentence, he served an extra two years in custody for the attack of the woman, making a full sentence of seven years which was served in juvenile detention but completed in adult prison, the court heard.
However, any rehabilitation was questionable as he had since his release been sentenced to jail, suspended prison terms and parole for various offending including three counts of assault occasioning bodily harm against a former de facto wife, Ms Marco said.
The man had spent the past 17 months in jail serving out the remainder of a past parole period and serving pre-sentence custody on charges of possessing methamphetamine above the 2g schedule.
Ms Marco said that arose from the 29-year-old and a woman co-offender being found at a Kearneys Spring residence on May 16 last year with 34.237g of methamphetamine of which 25.848g was pure drug.
In other words the drug substance was 75% pure which was considered quite high, she said.
Of the 17 months he had spent in custody during his last stint, 195 days could be declared as time served under this sentence, Ms Marco submitted.
The prisoner's barrister Frank Martin told the court his client had been born in Toowoomba to a single mother and had never known his father.
"His mother was a drug addict who had ''speed cooks'' in the home," Mr Martin said.
His client had been educated at school only to Year 7 level but during his times in jail he had studied to a Year 11 level and had done courses as a chef and a fitness instructor, he said.
His client had started using "ice" at age 22 or 23 but had since done drug rehab courses in custody.
Justice Peter Applegarth said the drug found was "a large amount of methamphetamine by any measure".
"I'm not going to mince words, you were a drug dealer," he told the prisoner.
"And, the Toowoomba community and the wider community can do without drug dealers peddling their trade."
Justice Applegarth sentenced the man to 40 months in jail but ordered he be eligible to apply for release on parole on May 27 next year after having served 14 months.