DPP v Richardson [2016] VCC 2014

Sentence summary: Trafficking (commercial quantity)

On three occasions the offender sold an undercover police officer over 4 kilograms of the substance 1,4-butanediol. This is an industrial solvent which, when ingested, is metabolised as the drug GBH. He also sold the officer 1.7 grams of methylamphetamine. The offender was arrested and 100 grams of 1,4-butanediol was located on him. Police also found a further 7.8 kilograms of this drug at the offender’s home.

The offender had been involved in importing 1,4 butanediol into Australia for the purposes of drug trafficking. International cargo addressed to the offender was intercepted by Customs. Inside Customs located another 3670 kilograms of 1,4-butanediol. Police located almost $120,000 in the offender’s bank accounts relating to the sale of this substance. Several shot gun cartridges also found in the offender’s self-storage locker. The offender was on bail at the time of some of these offences.

The offender pleaded guilty to trafficking in a commercial quantity of drug of dependence, 1,4-butanediol. He also pleaded guilty to attempting to possess a commercial quantity of 1,4-butanediol. The offender further pleaded guilty to trafficking methlyamphetamine, possession of proceeds of crime (the money), possession of cartridge ammunition and breaching his bail.

The judge noted that the offender had trafficked twice the commercial quantity (2 kilograms) of 1,4-butanediol and attempted to possess more than 1800 times the commercial quantity.

He found that the offender’s relevant and recent prior convictions (drugs, dishonesty, firearms and driving charges) and that he had committed the current offences while on bail, were aggravating circumstances.

The judge took into account the offender’s guilty plea, although it came late in proceedings. He also took into account that the offender suffered from ADHD, anxiety and depression. The fact that the offender had been assaulted in custody and had been very strictly confined made his mental health issues worse and the judge found that this made prison a more difficult experience for him than for other prisoners.

He also considered the offender’s long history of drug abuse which started at age 12. As a result of his drug addiction and continued offending, the judge found the offender’s prospects of rehabilitation were bleak. He could not complete a Community Correction Order. As such, it made imprisonment the only appropriate sentence.

General deterrence, denunciation and punishment must be the principal purposes for sentencing.

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

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Page last updated: 26 August 2018