A Newcastle man caught with cannabis on the Golden Highway - partially due to police not being convinced by his explanation for travelling during COVID restrictions - has been fined $330.
Kristian O'Sullivan of Sandgate Road, Shortland, submitted a written plea of guilty to the charge of 'Possess prohibited drug', which was finalised in Mudgee Local Court on Wednesday.
At about 9.45pm on Friday, May 15, 2020, the 37-year-old was stopped on the Golden Highway at Dunedoo for a random breath test, which was negative for alcohol.
However, when asked why he was driving while COVID-19 restrictions were in place, he said he was driving from Newcastle to Dubbo to collect his children and planned to return that same night. Officers mentioned that there were no child seats on-board and O'Sullivan said he would be sourcing them in Dubbo.
They decided to search the vehicle due to; the unsatisfactory explanation for the journey; the Golden Highway being known to police as a drug route; and the information revealed by a check of his identity.
O'Sullivan handed over a resealable bag of cannabis - later weighed and found to contain 30g - from his passenger's handbag. Another resealable bag, containing 7g of the drug, was found in the centre console, both of which he admitted to owning and intending to smoke.
Magistrate David Day, upon reading the police facts submitted to the court for sentence, noted that the defendant said that the drug was for "personal use" which his honour dubbed "the ACT defence". In reference to legality of less than 50g of cannabis in the Australian Capital Territory.
Then added, "it might be for personal use, but it's a large amount".