Ice trend growing, says Albury magistrate

ALBURY magistrate Tony Murray has pondered the increasing number of cases before his court where the defendants had attracted police attention through their use of the drug ice.

Mr Murray said yesterday it would be interesting to see statistics on the use of the drug among defendants, when dealing with two series of charges against Jason Andrew Johnstone.

Johnstone had blamed his ice use for two separate incidents where he assaulted his estranged de facto partner.

“It just seems to be an ever-more recurring theme,” Mr Murray said.

Solicitor Mark Cronin represented Johnstone and said: “It (ice) is an insidious substance and leads to aberrant behaviour.”

Johnstone, 41, has been in custody with bail refused since June 5.

He pleaded guilty to assault and intimidation offences from February 25 when he attended his former partner’s home in Lavington about 2.05pm.

Johnstone was sweating, agitated and affected by drugs and grabbed the woman, who fell to the ground and told him to leave.

“You’re scum. You’re a slut. I’ll be back,” he said.

He pleaded guilty to charges of damaging property, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and intimidation after visiting her about 3pm on June 5.

Johnstone threatened to kill her, pushed her backwards into a wall in the carport and she hit her head.

The woman’s son sprayed Johnstone in the eyes with surface cleaner and both managed to escape before Johnstone was arrested.

He was not interviewed by police because he was affected by ice.

Mr Cronin said Johnstone had four children from two previous relationships.

He was described as a loving, responsible father when not affected by alcohol or drugs.

Mr Cronin said Johnstone began using cannabis at an early age and was then introduced to amphetamine.

“His record is inglorious to say the least,” Mr Cronin said.

Mr Murray said drug and alcohol were primarily responsible for Johnstone’s extensive criminal history.

“You are not going to have a very long life unless you address your drug problem,” he was told by Mr Murray.

Johnstone was sentenced to a 12-month jail term with a minimum of six months expiring on December 4.