By Cam Lucadou-Wells
A man has been convicted for submitting a false statutory declaration to Dandenong Drug Court that he’d lost his medical certificate.
Beau Price, 27, was sentenced to a two-year community corrections order for attempting to pervert the course of justice by Victorian County Court judge Meryl Sexton on 5 June.
Price had lied about the doctor’s certificate in an attempt to avoid jail for failing to turn up to his scheduled review at the drug court on 21 October, 2015, Judge Sexton said.
He had attended a doctor’s clinic to get a certificate on the day, but was unable to get an appointment, the court heard.
Price’s claim that he had heart problems at the time was later verified by hospital records.
He’d attended an emergency department complaining of chest pain three days earlier.
Price, who maintained his lie in a talk with his case manager, had failed to appreciate the seriousness and level of dishonesty of the act, the court was told.
He denied he had sent the stat dec to avoid a urine drug test that day.
Price’s offending was at the low-end of a serious charge – which carries a maximum 25 years’ jail. It was unsophisticated and simple to detect, Judge Sexton said.
“You were old enough to know better, but young enough to learn from your offending.
“You must realise, that at age 27, this is your turning point.”
Price had descended into drugs after getting in a “bad crowd”. From 15, he was using speed. Later he fell into a raging ice habit and mental health issues during a series of tragic bereavements.
He was smoking up to two grams a day.
The judge took into account the delay in charging Price until just before his scheduled release from jail on 9 June.
During his recent stint at Fulham jail, he was drug free, completed courses and was team leader of nine inmates. He expressed goals of starting work and reconnecting with his family.
Price’s prospects for rehabilitation were reasonable “provided you stay off the drugs”, Judge Sexton said.
“The (CCO) will be a punishment and must be regarded as such or you will fail.”
The supervised order includes 100 hours of unpaid work, as well as drug, alcohol and mental health treatment.