Defence counsel Kim Bryson said the teen used drugs more often after couch-surfing and meeting the older man. (File)
Defence counsel Kim Bryson said the teen used drugs more often after couch-surfing and meeting the older man. (File) FotoMaximum

Couch-surfing teen's trouble after shacking up with older man

A COUCH-surfing teenager who moved in with a man about twice her age found herself facing drug charges.

Former Gympie man Nigel Learmonth was to be sentenced on Thursday for drug and weapons offences.

His co-accused, a young woman, pleaded guilty to charges including LSD possession.

A court heard she was 17 at the time of the offences, when police found drugs in a caravan.

"She's under the influence [of] a man who's significantly senior," Justice Peter Flanagan told Brisbane Supreme Court.

Defence counsel Kim Bryson said the teen was "couch surfing" before moving in with Learmonth and starting to use ice daily.

Now 19, the woman received three years' probation but no conviction was recorded.

Learmonth, in his late 30s, pleaded guilty to charges including receiving stolen property and producing and possessing dangerous drugs.

But defence counsel Damian Walsh said Learmonth disputed allegations the drug possession had a "commercial aspect".

"Commerciality's always been an allegation," Crown prosecutor Jodie Wooldridge said.

Mr Walsh said Learmonth believed he had an "explanation" for an alleged tick sheet.

Justice Flanagan said it was "highly unsatisfactory" the factual dispute only seemed to emerge on the day of sentencing.

Learmonth's case was listed for review before Justice David Boddice on February 1. -NewsRegional



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