Masseuse caught with drugs after leaving home of embattled TV star Andrew O’Keefe hears his fate in court
- Mitchell Rees Sturt, 52, appeared in Sydney court on Friday
- He was convicted of possession of a cocktail of drugs
A masseuse who was caught with a stash of illegal drugs after leaving the home of embattled TV star Andrew O’Keefe has been fined $1,000.
Mitchell Rees Sturt, 52, was stopped by officers in the early hours of Nov. 24 just after leaving the home of the former Deal or No Deal host in Vaucluse in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
He was arrested after police searched a silver Mercedes-Benz and found a black bag filled with a cocktail of drugs, including methylamphetamine, cannabis, GHB, cocaine and LSD. O’Keefe was not charged in connection with the incident.
Wearing a medical boot, the recovering massage therapist faced local Downing Center court on Friday after pleading guilty to five counts of drug possession.
Sturt’s lawyer, Sam Abbas, admitted his client had “control of the bag” and was aware of its contents, but said he only intended to have the drugs “for a limited time”. The Daily Telegraph reports.
Mitchell Rees Sturt, 52, (pictured) has been fined $1,000 after admitting to possessing a cocktail of drugs found in a Mercedes Benz last November
Sturt was arrested shortly after leaving the home of troubled TV star Andrew O’Keefe (pictured) in the Vaucluse at around 1:40am on November 24.
According to police facts, officers saw Sturt and a woman leave the residence on Old South Head Rd at around 1:40 a.m. before walking toward a car parked on nearby Belah Ave.
After noticing the police car, the pair ran off – but they were later found by the officers who searched them along with the Mercedes Benz.
Sturt told the officer that everything in the car was his, except for the items in the back seat, including the black bag.
The bag was found to contain a clear smoking pipe, scales and two silver cans – one containing 12.6 g of methylamphetamine and the other containing a bag of cocaine and three LSD tablets.
There were also two metal vials, a clear resealable bag with a large crystalline shard, and an orange container containing GHB and an e-cigarette filled with cannabis liquid.
Sturt, from Abbotsford in Sydney’s inner west, is pictured playing cricket
The TV presenter has been the face of several iconic Channel Seven shows including Deal or No Deal and The Chase Australia
Sturt was arrested and taken to Waverley Police Station where he told officers the items were not his. He declined to answer any other questions.
Mr Abbas told the court that Sturt, who is in the process of applying for a carer’s pension as he cares for his mother, was an exercise therapist until Covid affected his business.
He added that the violations were a “monumental stain” on Sturt’s life.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Theo Tsavdaridis agreed that Sturt is unlikely to commit any further offenses and “doesn’t belong in this jurisdiction.”
Mr Tsavdaridis accepted that Sturt’s interaction with the drugs was ‘fleeting’ and fined and placed him on 18 months community service.