Dalby dad caught weighing marijuana in front of his kids
WHEN police arrived at the home of Derek Dean Latham for a search warrant, they located him in his kitchen, weighing marijuana on a set of scale while his children were in the house.
Latham appeared before Dalby District Court after police sprung the father-of-seven with over half a kilo of marijuana.
Crown prosecutor James Bishop told the court police arrived at Latham’s home on February 18 to execute a search warrant.
When they arrived, they located five vacuum sealed bags with marijuana inside weighing between 81 and 104 grams.
They also located scales, $125 in cash, more marijuana in a bowl, and a protein powder container with more than 40 grams of marijuana.
In total, police found 524 grams, the court heard.
Latham declined to participate in a police interview.
Mr Bishop said it was not alleged that possession was for commercial use, however it was a “significant” amount of the dangerous drug, which aggravated the offence.
Defence lawyer Frank Martin told the court his client had seven children, but one had been killed a few years ago when he was hit by a car.
Mr Martin said he had worked consistently as a labourer, and was in a long-term relationship with the mother of his children, who he met when he was 19.
The defence lawyer said Latham committed his first drug offence when he was 19, and had faced a long battle with addiction.
The court heard Latham wants to start his own business, according to Mr Martin, because he believes it will keep him busy and away from drugs.
Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren said Latham was putting his capacity to care for his children in jeopardy with his drug use.
The judge said Latham’s addiction normalises drug use in the house.
Latham pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a dangerous drug over 500 grams.
He was sentenced to four months imprisonment, wholly suspended for a period of nine months.