Ashburton drug offenders plead guilty

May 9, 2014 | By More

Police car-Sept2013-02An Ashburton father-of-four described in court as “not the Mr Big of Central Canterbury” has been warned that he still faces a possible jail term after admitting drugs charges.

Raymond Donal Todd, 36, admitted offending in both Ashburton and Christchurch when he pleaded guilty to 10 charges in the Christchurch District Court today.

The case against him and another Ashburton man, Jason Richard Beckley, 42, and an Auckland man, had been due for trial next week. That has been halted by today’s guilty pleas and by the Crown dropping five other charges.

Beckley admitted two charges of possessing of the class A drug methamphetamine for supply or for offering to supply.

Todd admitted similar charges as well as possession of the drug GBL for supply, cultivating cannabis, receiving stolen power tools, having an offensive weapon – an air pistol – in a public place, and possession of cannabis for sale.

Judge David Saunders remanded Beckley on bail to July 9 for sentence, and ordered a report on his suitability for home detention. He said that was not an indication of the final sentence.

Defence counsel Craig Ruane said Todd was effectively a first offender. He had four young children, and lived in Ashburton where he was self-employed. His wife was at court with him.

“The Crown accepts he is not the Mr Big of Central Canterbury,” he said. “He has been dealing at a lower level amongst friends and acquaintances.  He has been doing some selling as well, which brings him into the lower level of commercial dealing.”

He had spent a long period on electronically monitored bail without any breaches, and was not seen as a flight risk.

Judge Saunders said Todd needed to be quite realistic and that prison would be a starting point in determining his sentence. The question was whether the credit for his guilty pleas and the length of time being monitored on bail would bring him within the maximum allowable term of home detention.

He ordered a home detention report for Todd’s sentencing on the same date.

Category: News

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