Author: Phillip Gibson
Parramatta District Court
Represented by Solicitor: Phillip Gibson, Accredited Specialist Criminal Law
Facts – the client had attended a music festival over Easter, and in entering the festival came to the attention of a drug detection dog. The drug detection dog indicated that the client may have been in possession of prohibited drugs. Initially the client denied that he was in possession of any prohibited drugs, however, when the police searched the client, he was found to be in possession of a strictly indictable quantity of ecstasy tablets. The client was arrested and questioned, and in the course of questioning made admissions to being in possession of the ecstasy tablets, and that he was going to supply them to his friends at the music festival. The client was charged with supply prohibited drug, and after the drugs were analysed, it was found to be an indictable quantity of the prohibited drug 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine. The client therefore entered a plea of guilty to the offence, whilst the matter was before the Local Court, and the matter was committed for sentence to the Parramatta District Court.
Result – the law prescribes severe penalties for those people who are detected supplying prohibited drugs, and the client knew that there was a high likelihood of a custodial penalty being imposed on him for this offence. However, when the matter came before a Judge at the District Court for appeal, it was submitted that the client’s previous good character, prospects of rehabilitation, and subjective circumstances, which involved family estrangement, all mitigated his criminality. In addition, the quantity of the drugs, although being an indictable quantity of this prohibited drug, when weighed was nevertheless towards the lower end of the indictable spectrum. Therefore, objectively viewed, it was submitted that this offence was not a comparitively serious case of drug supply, nor was the client substantially involved in supplying drugs. Accordingly, when sentenced, the client was placed on a bond pursuant to section 9 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 for a period of 4 years, conditional upon accepting supervision from the Probation and Parole Service. Overall, the imposition of a good behaviour bond for an offence of this nature was the most lenient outcome available in sentencing for an offence of this nature.