No deal, says judge, you’re going to jail

A DISTRICT Court judge has delivered a stinging attack on dangerous drugs and refused a dealer bail as he considers his sentence.

Judge Colin Charteris told Tamworth Local Court yesterday that local communities were sick and tired of illegal drugs.

“We, the community, and Tamworth in particular, don’t want any more methylamphetamine,” he said.

“The parliament has said you go to jail.”

Judge Charteris made the comments during sentencing submissions in the case of Curtis Rhys Taylor – a Tamworth man who pleaded guilty to dealing methylamphetamines in 2012 and possessing an illegal gun, while feeding his daily drug habit of speed.

“He was a foolish young man who involved himself,” he said of the accused.

“He might have played a small role in it, but he played a role.”

Judge Charteris said district courts were overwhelmed with drug supply cases, adding that suppliers only met demand.

“If you’re a user, then you’re joining in that enterprise,” he said.

The Crown’s case centres on a deal of two ounces of methylamphetamine for $5000 to a co-accused as well as two eight-balls of the same drug the day before on July 21, 2012.

It was on August 3, during a sting by Strike Force Coomalie in a Cessnock car park, Taylor was pulled from a car and arrested, along with two other men, whom they allege were in the process of exchanging drugs for money.

During raids on homes in Anthony Rd and Daruka, police discovered the .22 calibre rifle Taylor claims he found on the side of the road, as well as almost 70g of methylamphetamine, which he said was his personal stash.

Barrister Bruce Donnelly said his client’s conduct centred on two drugs supplies in July 2012 before his arrest, and outside of that there was no other conduct concerning supply.

Mr Donnelly said the question was if he did supply to customers, with the emphasis on the plural s.

“There is no evidence whatsoever of that,” he told the court, submitting the deals were only to a co-accused.

Crown prosecutor John Stanhope said Taylor’s account of finding the gun on the side of the road was “utterly implausible,” and a custodial sentence was warranted.

Instead, he submitted that firearms are commonly the “tools of the trade” of someone involved in the trafficking of drugs.

“In the Crown’s submission, it’s all too convenient,” he said.

“He places that type of firearm ... in a home where other people have access to it ... left on a table ... in an unlocked room,” Mr Stanhope said.

Judge Charteris said there was no other penalty but jail, remanding him in custody for sentence.

“I convict you on each of the offences,” he told Taylor.

Taylor will be sentenced later this month in a Sydney court.