Six years in jail for drug dealer

A HILLGROVE man who had a cache of guns and drugs stashed in his home will spend up to six years in jail.

A police sting uncovered Matthew David Cornish’s illegal stash hidden behind an eight-foot-high, tin and scrap metal fence in the sleepy village near Armidale.

During the September 30 raid last year, detectives discovered seven guns before special ballistic police confirmed one was a prohibited weapon with a silencer, while another was a self-loading rifle.

Also in the home was 12 kilograms of cannabis, 20 cannabis plants, MDMA and amphetamines.

The raid was sparked by an investigation into the 38-year-old’s activities after he came under notice of police.

Following Cornish’s arrest in Armidale, officers searched his Hillgrove home before he was charged with a string of offences including possessing more than three firearms, using a prohibited weapon without a permit, cultivating a prohibited plant, supplying cannabis and dealing with the property that is the suspected proceeds of crime.

One charge of possessing prohibited drugs was withdrawn during the court proceedings. 

After pleading guilty to the offences, Cornish appeared in the dock of Armidale District Court for sentencing where the details of his illegal stash were revealed.

Judge Stephen Walmsley said there was no other penalty available other than imprisonment because of the serious nature of the offences.

Cornish, who has been in prison since his September arrest, was ordered to serve six years behind bars dating back to March 30.

Judge Walmsley said Cornish had to serve three-and-a-half years in jail before he was eligible for supervised parole.

With good behaviour, Cornish could be released in September 2017.

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