IN COURT: Colin Mark Cahill faced Dalby Magistrates Court on November 19 on several charges. Picture: NSW Police
IN COURT: Colin Mark Cahill faced Dalby Magistrates Court on November 19 on several charges. Picture: NSW Police

Western Downs bakery employee lost three houses to drugs

A FORMER Airlie Beach tradie's fall from grace has been heard in Dalby Magistrates Court after he was sentenced for possessing large amounts of MDMA and GHB.

Colin Mark Cahill faced court via video link on November 19, charged with a slew of drug related offences and breaches of bail while on a suspended sentence.

Police prosecutor sergeant Derek Brady tendered Cahill's five page criminal history, which contained "very few" offences other than drug related matters since 2014.

The court heard the defendant had received extensive custodial sentences, and was subject to a four year imprisonment term for a drug trafficking offence which was finalised in 2017.

Sergeant Brady said it was set to expire in 2021, with Cahill's parole revoked due to his recent offences.

"He's still subject to a suspended sentence as well, so that is my starting point for sentencing," he said.

"I do make applications for that to be invoked today."

Dalby Magistrates Court.
Dalby Magistrates Court.

The court heard Cahill had been previously caught with 0.1g and 1.6g of meth, 3.46g of MDMA, and 0.88g of GHB (liquid ecstasy) in his possession.

Sergeant Brady said he would be seeking a head sentence of 15 months imprisonment, and custodial sentences for all drug offending.

Solicitor Claire Graham said the 41-year-old earned his fitting trade in Dalby during his early years, before leaving the Western Downs to work in the mines in Mackay.

"At his highest, in terms of his employment, he had three houses also owned an acreage block in Airlie Beach," she said.

"He was doing very well for himself, and had a lot of expendable cash."

The court heard Cahill's fall from grace began after his father died from cancer, and by 2013-2014 he was "seriously drug addicted".

Dalby Magistrates Court was told Cahill had lost all of his properties when they were repossessed by the banks, and his employment suffered in the process.

Ms Graham told the court the defendant was jailed for the first time in 2015, and had been in and out of custody ever since.

"He returned to custody in Easter of 2018 on a return to prison warrant, and he was sentenced for that suspended period of imprisonment," Ms Graham said

"He was released from custody in April 2019, where he then went to Toowoomba where his mother lived … before he got a job out in [the Western Downs]."

Dalby Magistrates Court.
Dalby Magistrates Court.

Ms Graham said he struggled to maintain employment at a bakery in the Western Downs, and fell back into reoffending.

She told the court Cahill had felt pressured to keep his job, and had essentially given up after breaching his bail the first time.

Cahill returned to custody in June to complete his imprisonment order until February 12, 2021.

Magistrate Tracy Mossop told Cahill he was serving time due to his previous history, and was pleading guilty to 13 offences primarily related to drug use, and not complying with bail conditions.

"If you want to honour your father's memory, then you've got to move away from dealing inappropriately with the stresses that you have, and put yourself where, basically, you're a druggie and in jail," she said.

"That's putting it bluntly."

Cahill received a head sentence of 15 months jail, added to the four months needed to be served from his suspended sentence.

His parole release date was set for February 12, 2021.


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