Judge gives young meth trafficker a second chance
A YOUNG father was lucky to avoid time in jail after pleading guilty to trafficking methylamphetamines.
Justice David North agreed Robert Joseph Crutcher's circumstances were "exceptional" and granted him a wholly suspended sentence.
Crutcher became heavily involved in drugs after a breakdown in his family.
Police searched a room at Quest Apartments, Gordon St, on November 13 in 2013. Crutcher, then 19, was there with two female friends when police located a black bag.
Inside were eight clip-seal bags containing ecstasy pills, which totalled 0.565 grams of pure MDMA, and 144 tablets of other drugs.
Crutcher denied the bag belonged to him and said he was "looking after the bag" for a friend, Crown prosecutor Brendan Manttan said.
Information on Crutcher's phone indicated he'd been trafficking since September 27 that year.
Crutcher, now 20, pleaded guilty to 11 drug-related offences, including trafficking methylamphetamines and possessing dangerous drugs including MDMA.
The Supreme Court in Mackay was told he'd been trafficking for about six or seven weeks.
Crutcher is father to a 13-month-old child.
Defence barrister Paddy Cullinane, for Potts Lawyers, said it was "unsophisticated offending" and "street level".
Mitigating factors included Crutcher's young age and circumstances, his co-operation with police and early plea. Crutcher's offending was against a background of drug use, Mr Cullinane said.
"He is remorseful for his actions," he said.
Justice North said trafficking methylamphetamines was to be "denounced".
Crutcher was convicted and jailed for three years, wholly suspended for three years.
He was placed on three years probation.
"This is now your big chance," Justice North said.