Meth pipe brings spent conviction
A Bunbury prison guard who “forgot” he had a meth pipe in his pocket while at work has been granted a spent conviction.
David John Sheahan’s lawyer told Bunbury Magistrate’s Court on Thursday that Sheahan forgot he had the contraband after he hid it from his wife who was cleaning their house before he was called in to work.
The 36-year-old was discovered with the pipe during a drug blitz at Bunbury Regional Prison on January 19.
In court, Sheahan pleaded guilty to conveying an unauthorised article into a prison likely to jeopardise good order, security or government.
Magistrate David MacLean said it was “extremely disturbing” and serious that someone employed at a prison was found with a meth pipe, but it would have been “far more serious” if Sheahan’s intent was to give it to an inmate.
Police prosecutor Sgt Darren Clifton confirmed there was no suggestion it was not for personal use.
Defence lawyer Paul Chapman said Sheahan suffered from anxiety and depression and after experiencing adverse side effects to medication, he turned to meth as a way of self-medicating.
Magistrate MacLean described Sheahan’s decision to use meth as an “amazing choice” given the guard had worked in the prison system for a decade.
Magistrate MacLean said Sheahan would “routinely” see the impact of meth in his position and that many of the inmates he would have dealt with were in prison because of the scourge of drugs.
Mr Chapman said after losing his job, Sheahan had since received counselling, was no longer using illicit substances and although he still suffered side effects, was back on his medication.
He said Sheahan had done everything he could and while he accepted the offence was not trivial, a number of references and his lack of criminal record made him appropriate for a spent conviction.
Magistrate MacLean said he accepted the incident was an “oversight” by Sheahan and a number of references, including one from a Department of Justice employee of 40 years, spoke very well of him.
Granting the spent conviction, Magistrate MacLean said Sheahan’s ability to gain employment in the future was important in his rehabilitation.
Sheahan was fined $500 plus costs.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails