A REFORMED Ipswich thug has narrowly escaped jail time after proving he is a changed man.
James Laurie Baldwin, 22, pleaded guilty in Brisbane District Court to drug supply and breaching a suspended sentence.
The court heard police had intercepted text messages on Baldwin's phone discussing the planned supply of cannabis and amphetamines.
Judge Julie Dick noted that up until recently, Baldwin's offending, which included racking up 11 driving demerit points in one day and being caught behind the wheel without his P-Plates twice in the same week, painted "a picture of someone who doesn't have much respect for the law".
She said while Baldwin's current charges were his first for drug supply, previous convictions for shoplifting, public nuisance and assault "look like offences associated with drug or alcohol abuse".
But Judge Dick said she was "impressed" by the reference of Mr Baldwin's partner who told the court he had completely changed his life. She also pointed to Baldwin's "considered reference" from his employer and accepted he was prepared to undergo drug testing to prove he was clean.
"The tipping point for me is your age and the fact you have turned your life around," Judge Dick said
"The community would rather see a young man turn around and rehabilitate than spend a short amount of time in custody and achieve nothing by it ."
Baldwin was sentenced to nine months jail but allowed immediate parole.
He will be subjected to regular drug testing throughout his parole.
- ARM NEWSDESK
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