Latin dance teacher, photographer and furniture restorer Philip David Spillane, 55, pleaded guilty to methamphetamine (ice) possession and six other charges in the Supreme Court in Mackay on Tuesday.
Latin dance teacher, photographer and furniture restorer Philip David Spillane, 55, pleaded guilty to methamphetamine (ice) possession and six other charges in the Supreme Court in Mackay on Tuesday. Whitsunday Times

Ice sold to fuel sex parties in Mackay

A MACKAY man busted with a big stash of ice and other drugs in a police raid had used the illicit substances to fuel a 20-strong sex party several days earlier.

Photographer, Latin dance teacher and furniture restorer Philip David Spillane faced the Supreme Court in Mackay on Tuesday.

He pleaded guilty to an aggravated charge of possessing methamphetamine (ice), possessing diazepam, marijuana, $5815 as proceeds of crime, a tick sheet and drug utensils.

Spillane, 55, also pleaded guilty to possessing explosives - three tiny Tom Thumb firecrackers.

The offences were dated to November 16, 2016, when police raided a Rural View residence.

Spillane was supported in the Supreme Court by several friends, who watched from the public gallery.

Crown prosecutor Clayton Wallis told the court Spillane had been convicted in the middle of last year of possessing viagra which had not been prescribed.

Otherwise, Spillane had "minor criminal history", which was "somewhat dated", Mr Wallis told Justice David North.

" ... police searched the defendant's dwelling residence. That search yielded the evidence that gives rise to all of the counts before your honour," the prosecutor said.

"The total amount of substance (ice) located by police during the course of the search was just over 11 grams, with a pure weight of just over eight grams."

Mr Wallis said police also found the cash, a small amount of marijuana, diazepam tablets, digital scales, a glass pipe and clip-seal bags.

Spillane was described by Mr Wallis as a "mature man" who "should know better".

The prosecutor added there was no contest the ice had been in Spillane's possession for a commercial purpose.

Defence barrister Bronwyn Harrigan said the viagra had been used at the sex party held the weekend before the police raid, but had been missed in that initial search.

She said the parties, attended by a mature social circle, were held at different homes on a rotational basis, and it had been Spillane's turn to host.

"As to the commission of the offences, Mr Spillane instructs around the time ... he had been attending parties where adults would congregate for the purpose of having sex with each other," Ms Harrigan said.

"One of the features of these parties is that the host would provide methamphetamine for use at the party and it was in that context that he started using...

"Prior to that time (in 2016) he was not somebody with a record of drug use. He says that people would pay for what they used, or write down what they owed."

Ms Harrigan said her client had been forced to close his photography studio after flooding in 2008 and Cyclone Ului in 2010 caused widespread damage.

She added Spillane had been the victim of a frightening robbery in 2013 and had faced the death of several family members in 2016.

She said as a result Spillane had a diagnosis of mixed anxiety and depression with panic disorderwhen the drugs were discovered.

Ms Hartigan said he'd undergone voluntary rehabilitation and counselling.

Spillane was described as a long-time volunteer of the Cancer Council.

Justice North said ice was a "serious source of harm to the wider community" and profits from its sale "support organised crime".

He did take into account Spillane's early plea, limited history, rehabilitative efforts and general character.

Spillane was sentenced to two years' imprisonment, suspended for three years.

He jumped into the arms of a friend in delight as he walked from the courtroom.

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