A MAN caught hiding behind bushes to avoid the police has been convicted and fined in Bathurst Local Court.
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Johnny Francis Bettles, of Henderson Street, West Bathurst, faced Magistrate Elizabeth Ellis on November 15, 2023, charged with two counts of possess prohibited drug.
Police were patrolling the West Bathurst area on April 26, 2023, when they saw Bettles riding an electric scooter without a helmet.
According to court documents, police immediately identified Bettles.
Police attempted to stop Bettles as he was not wearing a helmet, but he sped up on the electric scooter and turned onto another street.
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When police turned the corner they could not see Bettles in the street, but they noticed him hiding behind bushes in the front yard of the first house on the street, court documents read.
Police stopped in the driveway of the property and flashed their lights, Bettles then approached them.
The court heard when police asked the 39-year-old why he wasn't wearing a helmet and he told them he was just in the next street visiting a family member.
When police asked why he went up the driveway Bettles replied, "I though it was my uncle's but he lives up the road."
However, according to court documents, police suspected Bettles was attempting to hide from them by going behind the bushes.
Police also noticed Bettles was acting in a nervous manner, with his hands shaking and his body making short quick movements.
The court heard due to Bettles' actions, police suspected he was in possession of illegal drugs and told him he would be searched.
During the search, police found two clear resealable bags in the front pouch of Bettles' jacket; one containing 0.54 grams of white crystals and one containing 0.69g of cannabis leaf.
When asked by police what the white crystals were, Bettles said "I dunno, looks like fake shit."
And when asked about the bag of cannabis, Bettles said it was weed and he was going to smoke it.
According to court documents, the white crystals were later tested and found to be methylamphetamine.
Bettles entered guilty pleas to both charges and his solicitor told the court he is looking to move away from Bathurst and live with family.
To which Magistrate Ellis replied, "While I agree a change of scenery can change things, he takes his drug problems with him."
"It doesn't matter where you relocate, you take your drug issues with you.
"If you can afford to buy the drugs you can afford to pay the fines."
Bettles was convicted and fined $800 for each offence.
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