A MAN living out of his car in Tamworth and found with $180,000 worth of drugs has been jailed for at least two-and-a-half years.
He gave permission for officers to search his car, and said to them: 'I'm f*****, that backpack is full of gear," Tamworth District Court was told.
Cash and knuckledusters were found in the car along with the drug haul, which had an estimated street value of $180,000,
"I'm so f*****, I'm going to jail," Whiteman said in a recorded interview as Oxley Target Action Group (TAG) police searched his car.
Inside the car was 166.52g of methylamphetamine, or ice, more than 9g of cocaine, 73.5g of MDA in pills, 9g of MDMA, and a small amount of cannabis.
Whiteman was homeless and living out of the car, but inside was $27,200 in cash, three mobile phones, a laptop and an iPad, along with messages and a "tick list" on the phone that detailed drugs and amounts of money.
Judge Jeffery McLennan said the drug haul in the car was "clear evidence of someone actively involved in the supply of various drugs".
I'm f*****, that backpack is full of gear.Christopher Whiteman to police after his arrest
Whiteman told police he wasn't involved in drug supply at the time, but "stated he had a $1000-a-day ice habit".
He has been in custody since his arrest, and appeared in court via video link from prison, showing no emotion as the four-year maximum sentence was handed down.
He tested positive to cannabis and amphetamine in an oral fluid "lick-stick" test at the police station after his arrest.
Judge McLennan said the 28-year-old's involvement in "different drugs" was a concern.
Whiteman has a "moderate criminal history" but this is his first time in custody - something he told the court in a letter was somewhat of a "blessing in disguise".
In the letter, parts of which were detailed in sentencing, Whiteman said: "I've never been this straight."
He "demonstrated remorse", Judge McLennan said, acknowledging Whiteman was now 100 per cent sober, clean and a good prospect for rehabilitation.
Whiteman became addicted to drugs which fuelled his offending, and was spurred on by his childhood which was characterised by violence, the court heard.
He grew up in a pub, was "daily binge-drinking from a young age" and took up cannabis at age 13.
He'd dabbled in cocaine, ecstasy, prescription medicine, mushrooms and crystal meth by the age of 18, and was "purchasing about 3g per day in the months prior to the offence".
References from his previous work in three businesses showed employers who had no idea of his drug struggles but told of his "strong work ethic" and "reliability".
But Judge McLennan said that, despite the good prospects Whiteman had for the future, he had to send a message to the community on this "particularly insidious drug", which was "prevalent and awful" and must be stamped out.
Whiteman was handed a four-year head sentence with a minimum of two years and six months behind bars.
He will be first eligible for parole in early 2021.