A DRUG addict who injected his girlfriend's 10-year-old son with morphine at least three times has been sentenced to six years in jail.
In a case described by a judge as "an object lesson in the dreadful effects of illegal drugs", Denny John Brown pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court in Brisbane to a raft of charges, including unlawful wounding, stealing and possessing dangerous drugs.
Justice Ros Atkinson detailed how Brown's drug addiction had led to him stealing from his former flatmates and impersonating a police officer to fleece a man of $1400.
The court was told Brown, 28, was living with his girlfriend and her two children at a home in Inala in 2007 when he used a needle and syringe to inject the then 10-year-old with morphine on at least three different occasions.
The boy told police the morphine "makes you scratch a lot and my little heart stopped", the court was told.
He told police he had slept for three days after an injection.
The court heard the incident had left the boy deeply traumatised and he had made repeated suicide attempts between October and December last year when he was only 10 and 11 years old.
The court was told Brown started using drugs at the age of 18 when he played rugby league for one of Sydney's leading junior clubs. However, his chance of becoming a professional footballer was lost when he began using drugs.
The court was told Brown managed to stop using drugs when he was living with boxer and former NRL player Anthony Mundine but left the home and "again went off the rails".
Justice Atkinson told Brown he had committed "unspeakable offences against a child". "It is tragic that a child who is already vulnerable was subjected to such dreadful offending," she said.
She sentenced Brown to six years' jail. He will be eligible for parole after serving two years of his term.
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