DPP v Marven [2016] VCC 505

Sentence summary: Trafficking (large commercial quantity)

Police found a laboratory for the production of methylamphetamine hidden in container sheds at the offender’s residence. They also found scientific glassware, precursor chemicals, pharmaceutical manufacturing machinery, 1.334 kg of methylamphetamine (with a street value estimated between $333,600 and $1.6 million), 558 g of pseudoephedrine, various drugs of dependence and schedule 4 poisons, a sawn-off shotgun and excavating machinery.

The offender pleaded guilty to charges including trafficking in a drug of dependence, possessing drugs of dependence and dealing with the proceeds of crime.

The judge accepted that at the relevant time the offender was significantly addicted to ice, but found the quantity and value of the drugs cast doubt on the offender’s claim that most of the methylamphetamine was for his own use. While there was no proof of any financial benefit to the offender, his supplying of a drug to others to reduce a debt owed was the equivalent of selling them.

While the judge accepted that the manufacture of drugs occurred in the context of a debt, there was no evidence of duress. The judge was not satisfied that the offending was anything other than voluntary and intentional.

The offender’s sentence was mitigated by his guilty plea, his unstable childhood and evidence of good character.

The offending, however, was significant. It was important that the sentence condemned such behaviour in strong terms and deterred both the offender and broader community from producing an addictive and dangerous drug that often results in violent behaviour.

The offender was sentenced to a total sentence of six years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of three years and six months.

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Page last updated: 3 September 2018