A musician with the 1970s Australian glam-rock act Hush and with John
Paul Young's band received a suspended jail sentence yesterday for
trafficking marijuana.

A Melbourne court heard how Jacques de Jongh, who played bass on
Young's hit Love is in the Air, became addicted to marijuana after
using it for 30 years.

When police raided his Glen Iris home on June14 this year, they found
a bucket containing 400 grams of dried marijuana, $7500 in cash in a
piano stool, scales and weights.

The Melbourne Magistrates Court heard that de Jongh, 52, told police
he was "quite proud of the service" he provided to clients, which
began as a way to finance his habit.

De Jongh estimated that he sold 200 grams of marijuana each week for
three years and admitted "he was open for business from 6pm to 9pm,
seven days a week". Asked his reason for trafficking, de Jongh said he
was addicted and "did not want to pay for my drug habit" and that he
also liked to help people out.

Defence lawyer Bernie Balmer said de Jongh, who had no prior
convictions, was a devoted musician but never received, nor was he
interested in, royalties from Love is in the Air.

"He was never into the business side of things, which is evident from
having no trappings of wealth from trafficking, which went straight
back into buying more marijuana for himself," Mr Balmer said.

De Jongh, unemployed, pleaded guilty to charges of trafficking,
possessing and using marijuana and to possessing the proceeds of crime.

Magistrate Clive Alsop told de Jongh: "People like you do more danger to the
community than you can imagine." He also castigated him for developing a
"very callous view of trafficking".

De Jongh was sentenced to four months' jail, suspended for two years,
and given a two-year undertaking with conviction.

Speaking to The Age outside court, de Jongh said drinking never agreed
with him and that "God provided us with marijuana, not alcohol". But
he apologised for his behaviour and was glad he had been busted as
"it's forced me to give up" the drug.

He said his new band, Smiling Fish, would "get on the run faster" now
that he was marijuana-free.


Newshawk: ken.russell
Pubdate: Wed, 05 Dec 2001
Source: Age, The (Australia)
Copyright: 2001 The Age Company Ltd
Contact: letters@theage.fairfax.com.au
Website: http://www.theage.com.au/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/5
Author: Steve Butcher