Ice wreaking havoc on small towns, says top judge
Courts are deeply concerned with the 'insidious' drug problem taking hold in small communities, says a North Queensland judge.
Judge Greg Lynham said drugs like methylamphetamine had a terrible impact that reached well beyond its users.
"Methylamphetamine, or particularly ice, is ravaging a lot of communities, particularly smaller country locations," he said during the sentencing of a Charters Towers man in the district court on Monday.
"Certainly in Bowen I know, the devastation ice has brought into those communities, so it's obviously a problem in communities such as Charters Towers.
"It's driven its way through these small communities in the way it's manifested in all manner of the community, not specifically the drug community, but all of the offending that occurs as a consequence of that - violence drugs use, things of that nature."
Judge Lynham said the courts were concerned with the way in which drugs like ice had been "wreaking havoc in these small communities".
He said it meant courts had to take that into consideration during sentencing of defendants.
"(Ice) certainly doesn't discriminate in terms of biography and background," he said.
"Ice in particular is such an insidious drug that it takes very little to fall into the grip of addiction, and it's very hard to beat the addiction.
"It's a terrible drug. It's the most pernicious drug circulating in communities around Queensland now."
The Queensland Police Service reports that in the past year there have been 4567 charges for drug offences in the Townsville District policing area, with 178 of those in Charters Towers, 278 in the Burdekin and 268 in the Hinchinbrook districts.
That is an increase in those communities of 27 per cent, 55 per cent and 14 per cent respectively on the previous year.
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Originally published as Ice wreaking havoc on small towns: Judge