Morphine shopper appeals length of sentence

A GLADSTONE man who went pharmacy shopping for morphine using forged documents will have to wait a while longer to see if his bid for a reduced sentence has been successful.

Ryan Keith Bailey, 28, made an application in the Queensland Court of Appeal on Wednesday claiming his three-year jail sentence was manifestly excessive despite the fact he has only one month to serve behind bars until he is eligible to apply for parole.

Bailey, who has already served 14 months of the sentence, wanted the court to either grant him a fixed parole release date or suspend the sentence immediately.

Defence barrister Simone Bain told the court Bailey, who was also charged with trafficking methamphetamines, had only become involved with the drug scene after being in a traffic crash where he sustained serious injuries.

She said he was a young father who had an excellent work history before the crash and had the full and on-going support of his wife, children and family.

Ms Bain said the sentencing judge did not give enough weight to some of her client's circumstances.

"Namely, the early guilty plea, the minor nature of the trafficking and complete lack of prior criminal history," she said.

"There was no suggestion or evidence to say the foray into methamphetamines was anything but for personal use.

"It was only bad luck through serious injury that led him on the road to addiction."

Crown Prosecutor Dennis Kinsella told the court Bailey's offending was more than just a simple case of a person with no criminal history getting a raw deal from the legal system.

He said the forging of documents to obtain morphine, and enlisting the help of others to obtain it, showed a distinct level of pre-planned criminality.

"The trafficking of a schedule one drug, meth, and a schedule two drug, morphine, is viewed in the eyes of the law as being at the upper scale simply because they are both highly addictive," he said.

"He also went to significant lengths to obtain the morphine.

"The head sentence of three-years, in our submission, was warranted when you take in the overall criminality and premeditation."

The Queensland Court of Appeal reserved its decision.


Topics:  court drugs

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