High-flyer’s illegal drugs business ends in jail

May 10, 2017 | By More

Joshua Francis Townshend’s high-flying lifestyle has come crashing down.

It was financed by illegal sales of body building drugs – his business had a turn-over of $300,000 in one year.

The 30-year-old has now began a two-year jail term after admitting 129 charges under the Medicines Act.

Defence counsel Josh Lucas told the Christchurch District Court that the offending arose at a time of Townshend’s “high living” and his need to be the best and care for his family.

He had lived in a fancy house in Cashmere, he said.

“It was all in an effort to impress everybody, including himself, probably.”

His chaotic lifestyle was carried on while he was on home detention for earlier similar offending, and after a clear warning from the judge who sentenced him.

He also committed two disqualified driving offences after being given a community detention sentence for driving offences.

Sentencing Judge David Saunders today referred to Townshend having given a “one-finger salute” to the courts and the orders they had made.

But the sentencing session was told that Townshend was now a changed man.

He had distanced himself from associates, engaged with charitable organisations, and had provided a cheque for $47,000 – the remains of the profits from the illegal medicine dealing.

Crown prosecutor Chris Lange accepted that the cheque showed that Townshend wanted nothing more to do with his earlier offending.

Mr Lucas said it showed he wanted everything to be “put behind him”, with a change of attitude and demeanour.

But Judge Saunders said he accepted the sentence could be reduced further but prison still needed to be imposed.

He said he would be “derelict in my duty” if he did not impose a jail term for offending that occurred while on home detention for similar offending.

He imposed a series of jail terms totalling two years, and disqualified Townshend from driving for a year.

The High Court has already issued a restraining order for the $47,000 cheque and an order is likely to be sought for it to be forfeited to the Crown as proceeds of crime.

 

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