AN ICE dealer who was a "chronic drug user" has apologised for his supplies, after overhauling his life and completing rehabilitation.
Jack Cassidy escaped jail but will have to stay out of trouble after being sentenced to an intensive corrections order - or jail term in the community - for dealing ice and MDMA across Gunnedah and Boggabri.
Flanked by his parents and grandmother for sentencing in Tamworth District Court, the now 21-year-old gave evidence, and told the court he started smoking cannabis at about 15 and started using ice at "roughly 16".
When his barrister Stephen Ryan asked if he was sorry, he said: "Yes I am, very sorry, sincerely sorry", adding he now knew how much it had impacted "me, my family, everyone else".
Cassidy was arrested and charged on December 11, last year, after it was revealed he was a target of Strike Force Numboidard - an Oxley police operation that had been watching him and others involved in drug supply. His co-accused remains before the courts.
"His chronic drug use is the catalyst for his offending," Judge Jonathan Williams said.
But Cassidy's arrest didn't stop the drug use. He only gave up using drugs "probably June, July this year when I went into rehab," he told the court.
He had to complete a one-week detox before an intensive 13-week rehab, and admitted: "I haven't touched them since".
He also told the court that he wasn't mixed up with the co-accused or his friends using drugs last year.
"I don't have any contact with them anymore," he said.
The court heard the drug spiral had been fuelled by unresolved grief issues surrounding the loss of his grandfather in 2018.
Mr Ryan said the drug dealing was "towards the bottom end of objective seriousness for this type of offending," and since being caught, "Mr Cassidy has made enormous changes in his life".
He said Cassidy was working, had completed rehabilitation, had the support of his family and "he's genuinely remorseful".
"These are very small quantities that he was caught dealing, very small money amounts," Mr Ryan said.
Cassidy was given a 25 per cent discount for his early guilty plea after admitting to ongoing supply of methylamphetamine. He also pleaded guilty to deemed supply of MDMA after Judge Williams said he "would have supplied some 25 tablets".
Two charges of possessing 9g of cannabis and .96g of methylamphetamine were taken into account in sentencing.
Cassidy was 20 at the time he started dealing around Gunnedah, and had no prior convictions.
"These weren't just isolated incidents," Judge Williams said in sentencing.
Judge Williams detailed several drug deals, of varying amounts of ice, that Cassidy had dealt between September and October, before he was first stopped by police on October 23, last year.
Cassidy became emotional and made admissions, and "told police there's ice and pingers in the driver's side door".
"They also found 21 MDMA tablets in four small resealable bags, 8.86grams in a cigarette packet," Judge Williams detailed.
Cassidy initially told police the drugs were for personal use and "denied they were for selling", but police uncovered the true story when they seized and analysed his phone.
Judge Williams took into account his early guilty plea, his age, lack of record, his 13-week rehabilitation, his good prospects and imposed an aggregate sentence of 18 months, to be served in the community on an ICO.
As part of the order, he will have to complete more than 90 hours of community service; be supervised by authorities; and had to pay $950 in a confiscation order for his dealing.