Meth trail led businessman to jail

Michael TraillAlbany Advertiser
Albany Justice Complex.
Camera IconAlbany Justice Complex. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

The downward spiral of a former small business owner, now imprisoned for 18 months, is a cautionary tale of the debilitating effects of methamphetamine, according to an Albany Magistrate.

Thomas James Caddy, a 30-year-old Orana man, was sentenced in the Albany Magistrate’s Court last Thursday after pleading guilty to 29 charges, including reckless driving to escape pursuit, fraud, and drug offences. The most serious of the charges came from a May police pursuit, in which Caddy stole his father’s Holden Commodore and ended up being arrested after jumping out of the moving car.

On May 27, Caddy led police on the high-speed chase through residential areas of Lower King, Bayonet Head and Oyster Harbour.

The pursuit began on Hubble Street and continued through the Oyster Harbour Estate and onto Mercer Road before the driver faced a dead end as he turned down a laneway off Chester Pass Road. It was there that he fled from the vehicle before being apprehended moments later by officers who gave chase on foot.

Caddy reached speeds up to 140km/h along Mercer Road, with the chase continuing despite the driver losing a front passenger side tyre.

Other motorists were forced to brake and swerve out of Caddy’s way to avoid colliding with the Commodore during the pursuit.

Before sentencing, Caddy’s defence counsel Simon Freitag said Caddy’s life had “gone off the rails” after he started using meth.

“(Caddy) went from running his own sub-contracting business to not being able to get to work as an employee because of a meth addiction,” he said.

“He regrets the damage he’s done to his life and the embarrassment he’s caused to his parents.”

The court was told Caddy had been off meth since being held in custody in the Albany Regional Prison, and would engage in drug prevention programs while behind bars.

During her sentencing remarks, Magistrate Raelene Johnston said Caddy was an example of someone affected by the scourge of meth.

“What is distressing is prior to 2015, you haven’t really come to the attention of the courts,” Ms Johnston said.

“You are an example of someone’s life who has been severely affected by methamphetamine.”

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