The heartbreaking REAL story behind the pictures that shocked Australia: Tragic past of ‘meth zombie’ couple found slumped behind the wheel of a car is laid bare
- Nicholas Arthur Procter, 33, was found unconscious in Mount Hawthorn, Perth
- Sight horrified witnesses who said Procter and woman ‘looked like pretzels’
- That was the third time Procter was found knocked out cold behind wheel of car
- Procter told he is not allowed to leave jail unless he is escorted to rehab
The heartbreaking past of a man who was pictured slumped behind the wheel of a car with his girlfriend has been revealed in court.
Nicholas Arthur Procter, 33, and Cassie Thompson, 29, were found unresponsive in a Toyota Rav4 in Mount Hawthorn, Perth on September 20 last year.
The harrowing picture went viral on social media with shocked Australians branding him a ‘meth zombie’.
Witnesses said the pair ‘looked like pretzels’ and some considered taking the key out of the ignition to protect them.
Procter was hauled before Perth’s Magistrate’s Court this week on a string of charges where said he was desperately trying to get clean and had found a place in a private rehab clinic.
Defence lawyer Abigail Rogers said Procter had ‘entrenched’ drug issues which had been exacerbated by the tragic death of his father earlier this year.
Nicholas Arthur Procter, 33, and Cassie Thompson, 29, were found unresponsive in a Toyota Rav4 in Mount Hawthorn, Perth on September 20 last year
Procter (pictured with a female) was caught twice before in similar situations
Procter has been found passed out behind the wheel on three separate occasions.
In January Procter, who has been banned for life from driving, was found passed out behind the wheel with a replica gun in his lap, The West reported.
He later admitted to police he had taken the drug GHB, the street name for liquid ecstasy, before driving. A drug test also found meth, amphetamine and tramadol in his blood system.
A month later, Procter was once again found in a similar position but this time with pieces of a shotgun wrapped in a towel hidden in a bag.
Various charges saw him receive a lenient suspended prison term.
Two police officers spotted beside the car where Procter was found slumped behind the wheel
He has now been charged with giving false personal details to police, failing to obey a data access order, drug possession, using a mobile phone while driving and stealing.
Magistrate Elaine Campione said she feared that Procter would disappear if released on bail and decided he will be allowed out of jail if he was escorted to rehab.
‘You must light up like a Christmas tree with all the substances you are consuming,’ she said. Procter is due back in court in October.
Procter and Thompson were also likened to an American couple who were found overdosed on opioids while their four-year-old child was in the backseat.
The pictures have been likened to an American couple who had overdosed on opioids while their four-year-old son was in the car
A survey conducted by the National Drug Strategy in 2019 found that up to 5.8 per cent or 1.2million Australians over the age of 14 had ever used meth including ice, speed or base.
The death rate involving meth was four times higher in 2017 compared to 1999, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 2.2 times more likely to consume the drug compared to non-Indigenous people.
Samantha Dillon from Narara on the NSW Central Coast was found to be dealing drugs on multiple social media platforms
Australia’s meth crisis has been brought to the fore after a number of unlikely addicts appeared before the courts.
One was a doting mother-of-two who was living a double life using social media platforms to sell a range of drugs plead guilty to supplying illegal substances.
Samantha Dillon from Narara on the NSW Central Coast was captured by police when she was fleeing behind the Bon Bon Fire Chocolate factory in February.
The young mother was carrying two bags filled with drugs and another with stolen goods.
Her stash included two packages of methylamphetamine, a green balloon she told police contained 20 Buprenorphine tablets, cocaine, one Oxazepam tablet and three diazepam tablets, with no script for the prescription medication.
Dillon’s phone was reviewed by officers, where they discovered the scope of her drug dealing through her Facebook account, which revealed she was selling drugs instead of attending her April court date.
‘A review of the accused’s mobile phone established the accused was in fact, supplying prohibited drugs in West Gosford on the date (of her court appearance),’ the police facts read, as reported by the Central Coast Express Advocate.
When police examined Dillon’s phone they found she was selling large quantities of methylamphetamine, as well as Xanax, ice, opioids and the ‘date rape’ drug GHB
‘It was apparent that the accused was largely using this service to facilitate the purchase and supply of prohibited drugs and prescribed restrictive substances.’
When police examined Dillon’s phone they found she was selling large quantities of methylamphetamine, as well as Xanax, ice, opioids and the ‘date rape’ drug GHB.
Dillon sold her drugs for cash and exchanged them for goods including a GoPro Hero 4 camera, a gold Adina Oceaneer watch and a Calvin Klein jumper, which were all found in her possession.
In August, a glamorous hairdresser was also charged after being caught with ice in her handbag as well as a switch knife and weighing scales.
Police raided Claire Elizabeth Gregory’s Logan home in south Brisbane last November and found 0.7g of the drug along with a set of scales covered in powder.
The 30-year-old was unable to explain any of the items found in her bag and was charged with three offences, the Beenleigh Magistrates Court heard.
Claire Elizabeth Gregory, 30, (pictured) was caught with 0.7g of ice and a switch knife in her bag
Gregory was on probation at the time and had also been charged with travelling in a stolen car.
She pleaded guilty to the three charges in relation to the drugs as well as one offence related the stolen vehicle.
She has since moved in with her mother.
Magistrate Clare Kelly placed the hairdresser on a further nine months of probation and no convictions were recorded.