A FATHER-OF-TWO at the centre of an ice supply ring in Tamworth and Woolomin has admitted to using morphine in prison "because it was his birthday".
Judge Jeffery McLennan weighed up Benjamin Woodard's prospects of rehabilitation as Woodard faced sentence in Tamworth District Court on Friday.
"Tell me this, Mr Woodard," Mr McLennan said. "When released from prison, as you will be on parole, no doubt you will have another birthday - what will happen then when someone offers you ice on your birthday?"
"I will decline," Woodard said.
"Because that's the reason why I'm here."
The 32-year-old is accused of dealing in more than $200,000 in cash that investigators allege is the proceeds of crime, and supplying more than 1.1kg of the drug ice.
Woodard has pleaded guilty to the supply of a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, methylamphetamine, knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime and acquiring a pistol from a supplier not authorised to possess it.
A psychologist report tendered to the court showed Woodard also used cannabis as recently as 2018, after the offences he is charged with occurred and while in jail.
Woodard was due to be sentenced on Friday; instead Mr McLennan was preoccupied with his prospects of rehabilitation given the new evidence that he'd continued to take drugs while in custody.
Woodard took the witness stand and said most of the psychologist's report was true "except the part about the drugs in custody".
First he told the court he had never used cannabis in his life, that he did not tell the psychologist that he had used cannabis as a teenager to fit in or that he used it again in 2018.
After intense questioning from the Crown, Woodard admitted to smoking cannabis as a teenager and in the early 2000s but refuted having used the drug in prison.
The man was the main target of Strike Force Delaney, a police operation set up by Oxley rural crime officers and the Target Action Group.
Detectives compiled evidence against the man for some months using telephone intercepts and surveillance.
Supported by his partner and her family in Tamworth District Court on Friday, Woodard began to cry in the dock when the Crown prosecutor began to talk about the positive influences in his life.
"He hasn't been in that positive social group since September 2017," the Crown told the court.
"He had that support in his corner when he was offending and he's been very secretive.
"I think the relationship had been going for quite some years. He's had almost a Jekyll-and-Hyde life."
He faces a possible sentence of six to seven years with a non-parole period of four years.
Woodard has been in custody since he was arrested on September 10, 2017.
The case has been adjourned to next week in Tamworth District Court for sentence, until then Woodard will remain in custody.