Sentencing for dealers of ‘insidious’ drug

November 23, 2017 | By More

A judge told two meth dealers they were part of an “insidious industry” that was wreaking havoc on parts of the community.

He then sent one to jail for three years, and granted the other a home detention sentence for a year – the maximum term available.

Dylan Rudd Stuart, 28, and Shontel Marie Riley Hardaker, 23, were found in bed when the police executed a search warrant on an Aranui property on an unrelated matter on July 31.

Both admitted possession of methamphetamine for supply – indicated by the presence of a “ticklist” of customers, small resealable plastic bags, methamphetamine, and $6000 cash – and Stuart admitted possession of a powerful firearm and ammunition.

The Christchurch District Court sentencing session was told they were dealing in methamphetamine to pay for their own drug habits. A cut-down .44 Magnum rifle and ammunition was found.

Stuart was jailed for three years, and Hardaker got home detention with Judge Michael Crosbie getting monitoring reports on her every three months.

Hardaker will have to do any treatment programmes or interventions required, and if a residential drug treatment programme is recommended after three months he will switch her sentence to intensive supervision so she can attend.

The $6000 cash found underneath the mattress is forfeited to the Crown, and the firearm, ammunition, $6000 of methamphetamine, and drugs paraphernalia will be destroyed.

Defence counsel Chris Shannon said Stuart had written a letter of apology.

Mr Shannon told Judge Crosbie: “I accept that having a firearm in this context, particularly a sawn-off one, is a serious aggravating factor.

“He is someone who realises the way his life is going to head unless he tidies up his act with drugs, and that is something he wants to do.”

Counsel Andrew Bailey said Hardaker had no previous convictions and had been under the influence of a more experienced offender. He urged that a home detention sentence be allowed, with provision to go to residential drug rehabilitation if it was recommended and if a place could be found.

Judge Crosbie pointed out to the pair that the maximum penalty for methamphetamine dealing was life imprisonment. They were part of an “insidious industry”.

He said: “It’s an appalling drug that is having an appalling effect on society. You may think you know who the drugs were sold to but you have no control over who they pass it on to.

“The real concern that the courts have is that the drugs end up in the hands of the young and impressionable, or already addicted.”

He said the sentence needed to hold them to account for being part of an industry that was wreaking havoc on a section of society.

He told Hardaker that he wanted her sentence to be “primarily rehabilitative” but he also warned her that if she breached the sentence or probation applied to have it cancelled he would send her to prison “in a heartbeat”.


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