Mandurah: budding journalist granted spent conviction for drug possession

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A BUDDING journalist who was granted a second chance at a spent conviction for a string of drug possession charges appeared in Mandurah Magistrates court today

Hugh Robert Read Forward (23) pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis, MDMA, LSD and drug paraphernalia including a small mirror, a blade, two straws and scales.

Police prosecutor Constable Sean Discombe said police found Forward with drugs when they searched his Mercedes on Forrest Highway in Lake Clifton at 3pm on January 17.

Constable Discombe said police found a carry bag in Forward’s car containing 0.23g of MDMA, 0.28g of LSD, 0.87g of cannabis and the small mirror, razor blade, two straws and scales.

Constable Discombe said Forward told police the drugs were for personal use.

Forward’s defence lawyer Jeremy Scudds said Forward’s dad, who works as a civil lawyer for a Margaret River law firm, was in court supporting his son.

Defence said Forward was a budding journalist who had completed a few years at university and hoped to be granted a spent conviction on the four charges as he had high hopes of travelling to South Africa soon.

Mr Scudds said his client works at the Norfolk Hotel and has a good reputation with staff.

Forward had a previous disorderly conviction and was granted a spent conviction in court previously for providing a false name.

“People who make mistakes and get spent conviction orders and then make them again is problematic,” Magistrate Anne Longden said.

Mr Scudds said Forward accepted he was in the wrong crowd and admitted he got caught up in the “youth culture of today”.

The defence lawyer said Forward had received counselling since being charged.

Magistrate Longden said Forward had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and it was a very small step from being a social user to addicted.

She said despite his prior record, his references showed prior good character.

“You’re unlikely to convict again – well I assume that’s the case,” she said.

She fined him with $800 and a spent conviction order was granted.

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