Ice dealing after cancer diagnosis ends in prison sentence
A HALFWAY Creek man who relapsed into methylamphetamine use after being diagnosed with cancer will spend at least a year and a half behind bars.
Gregory John Reilly was sentenced in Grafton District Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to charges of supplying a prohibited drug on an ongoing basis and supply prohibited drug, as well as receiving stolen property and possessing a prohibited firearm.
The court heard that from June 11-26 last year the 46-year-old was involved in the supply of 161g of ice in eight separate drug deals.
Court documents reveal that in December 2018 detectives from Coffs/Clarence Police District established a strike force for a separate matter, and during their investigations telephone conversations were intercepted which revealed Reilly was involved in the supply of methylamphetamine.
During the sentencing Judge Clive Jeffreys said the facts of the matter revealed that on July 16 last year Reilly was stopped by police at Grafton while on his way to Maclean to supply 28g of methylamphetamine to another person.
About 8.30am on August 8 last year, officers from Coffs/Clarence Police District, with assistance from operational support units, conducted a search warrant on Reilly's Halfway Creek property where it was discovered Reilly was in possession of $22,890 worth of property that had been stolen from a contractor taking part in major electrical work at Clarence Correctional Centre. A prohibited firearm, a gel blaster, was also discovered on the property.
Judge Jeffreys said offences involving the ongoing supply of prohibited drugs were objectively serious, and deterrence as well as punishment were important considerations of the court.
"One does not simply dispense the drugs, but on every level the sale of drugs is associated with criminal conduct, and the offender was involved in the business of supplying methylamphetamine," the judge said.
"There's no suggestion any sentence other than imprisonment is appropriate."
Judge Jeffreys said the evidence suggests the methylamphetamine supply was unsophisticated with the drugs sold mostly to one person, and that Reilly was a "street-level dealer", though pointed out the quantity of ice supplied, as well as the stolen property he was found in possession of, were not insignificant.
Judge Jeffreys said Reilly was a father of three who had worked in various jobs, including owning a successful concrete business, after he was expelled from high school in Year 8.
The court heard that Reilly had used and abused marijuana as well as methylamphetamine on and off during his teenage years and into early adulthood, but had stopped all drug use for close to 20 years until he briefly relapsed in 2016 for around 12 months before abstaining again.
In May last year the court heard Reilly discovered a lump in his lung which was later found to be a tumour, and by July 2019 had been operated on, which left him without one lung.
The court heard after the operation Reilly was on strong medication and painkillers, and was uncertain if he had beat the cancer so bought methylamphetamine to "bump himself up".
Judge Jeffreys said the relapse soon turned into a 1g a day addiction and he came into dealing ice to support his addiction.
The judge noted Reilly had been bail refused on the matters since his arrest on August 8 last year, and had made "considerable progress" towards his rehabilitation.
Reilly was convicted and sentenced to a three-year prison sentence, with a non parole period of one year, six months. With time served Reilly will be eligible for release on February 7, 2021.