A man caught with four tablets of the illegal drug ecstasy at last year’s Splendour in the Grass festival at Yelgun had the police charge against him thrown out of court this week.
In dismissing the charge against the Mt Isa man, magistrate David Heilpern said taxpayers’ money had been wasted in prosecuting the man, who had pleaded guilty.
But despite the early guilty plea, the case had been adjourned five times in seven months.
The Northern Star reported that the man was spotted by police acting suspiciously near the main gate of the festival site on July 27 last year.
The court was told that when the man saw police and drug-sniffer dogs at the entrance as he approached, he turned back.
The Star said the man was seen trying to remove something from a bag he carried and when police approached him, a drug-detection dog indicated he had illegal drugs.
A search of the bag uncovered five blue ecstasy tablets in a plastic resealable bag hidden inside a sunglasses container.
He was issued with a court attendance notice and pleaded guilty in Byron Bay Court on September 19 to possessing a prohibited drug.
According to the Star, Magistrate Heilpern said, ‘the expense to the public of matters such as this is enormous,’ with the case dragging on over five adjournments.
‘This was five tablets that the police valued at $100,’ Mr Heilpern said.
Mr Heilpern noted the man had no prior convictions in NSW or Queensland, before ordering the drugs be destroyed.