Good family, good job, then into drug trafficking

Chris Proude at the Gladstone races in 2010.
Chris Proude at the Gladstone races in 2010.

HE had a good upbringing, a good job and plans for a good future.

So calling his Mum to tell her he was going to jail was a call he had been too ashamed to make for the past three years.

Christopher Raymond Proude finally made that call only a week before being sentenced to four years imprisonment last Friday.

Proude sat alongside co-offenders Matthew Luke Nespoli and John David Alexander in the Rockhampton Supreme Court after they all pleaded guilty to trafficking and supplying a dangerous drug.

The court heard the Gladstone men, who were aged 20, 19 and 17 respectively at the time, had been involved in trafficking a significant amount of cannabis in 2011, where a large amount of money had changed hands.

Crown Prosecutor Joshua Phillips said there was a degree of sophistication in their undertakings, describing safe-deposit boxes, business phones, safe houses and drugs buried to hide them.

Proude, a former primary school captain and an electrician, was quoted as saying he didn't understand how he got into it, and was kicking himself every day.

Justice Duncan McMeekin questioned why someone with a good start in life and a good job would be lured by this lifestyle.

"That's the lure of easy money," Justice McMeekin said.

Proude and Nespoli, who had been involved in the crime from the beginning, were sentenced to four years imprisonment, with a parole release date of April 14, 2015.

Alexander, who had had only a minimal involvement in the last three weeks before being charged, was sentenced to three years, and given immediate parole.

Topics:  cannabis crime drugs rockhampton supreme court

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