Judge blasts ‘stupid, stupid’ drug users
A Sydney magistrate told a race goer caught with drugs his mother was lucky she wasn't like the "MDMA widows" who had lost loved ones as she lashed "stupid, stupid" young people for "not being scared of jail or death".
Magistrate Jennifer Giles told Todd Ralph Crichlow he was lucky to be alive - a chance young people whose tragic cases being heard at the music festival deaths inquests didn't get.
"Young people dabbling in drugs...they don't seem to be scared of jail and don't seem to be scared of death," the exasperated judge told the Waverley Local Court on Wednesday.
Mr Crichlow's lawyer said his client was deeply ashamed of his actions and had been given a dressing down by his mother, who sat next to the 27-year-old truck driver in court.
"A round of the kitchen sink I hope" Magistrate Giles said, before adding the mum "by the grace of god" wasn't being paraded before the cameras outside the Lidcombe inquest like all the other "MDMA widows".
An inquest at the NSW Coroners Court is looking into a spate of deaths at music festivals in NSW between 2017 and 2019 and has heard harrowing evidence of the final moments of Nathan Tran, Diana Nguyen, Joseph Pham, Callum Brosnan, Joshua Tam, and Alexandra Ross-King, all aged between 18 and 23, who died after attending music festivals including Defqon. 1, Lost Paradise and Knockout Circuz.
Magistrate Giles was at a loss as to say why "stupid, stupid" people did it, and told Mr Crichlow the drugs were mixed in toilets.
"Don't put it in your mouth....you're licking their toilet bowls," she said.
She told him the damage was not always immediately felt and could cause problems for him in later life, with organs like the heart and liver being ruined by the chemicals being pumped into the body when drugs like MDMA where consumed.
"You wonder why people have liver problems at 50 (which is just) when you might want to be enjoying your kids."
As well as health problems, drug use invited addiction and trouble with the law, she added.
The magistrate handed him a conditional release order, effectively meaning he escaped a conviction if he didn't offend over the next 18 months.
But she warned him: "It only happens once".
According to the police facts, Mr Crichlow was at an Australian Turf Club meeting at Randwick Racecouse on April 13 when he was caught with 1.41 grams of MDMA. A police officer observed him standing near some toilets with a friend with his jacket drapped over his arm.
The officer walked over to them and spoke to the pair and checked their ages. It was then he saw Mr Crichlow was carrying a bottle of Mishka Vodka and asked him "do you have anything else on you that you shouldn't have".
Mr Crichlow replied: "Yeah I have 10 pills on me, they're in my suit jacket."
He was cautioned and searched and 10 yellow and green capsules were then found in two clear bags inside his right inner jacket pocket.
As well as being charged with possession of a prohibited drug he was banned by the Australian Turf Club for five years.
At Maroubra Police Station Mr Crichlow denied the drugs were for anyone else. While he was being questioned his mobile phone rang and received messages constantly, including one that said: "I heard you got arrested with my terries".
Mr Crichlow insisted the drugs were for his own use and the man who messaged was his cousin who wasn't at the races.