Meth dealer jailed 3½ years for conspiracy and dealing

Gisborne Courthouse. File picture by Rebecca Grunwell

A GISBORNE man jailed for drug dealing interrupted the sentencing judge to tell him he had seen the error of his ways and was now advising young people to avoid methamphetamine.

Peter Lindsay Charles Rice, 34, appeared for sentence in Gisborne District Court.

Judge Warren Cathcart jailed him for three years, six months.

While Rice had previous convictions, these were his first for drug offending, the court heard.

During sentencing, Rice interrupted the judge to tell him he had now spoken to youth about methamphetamine and was trying to keep them away from it.

Judge Cathcart said he was pleased to hear Rice had taken that attitude and had now faced up to his offending, for which he knew he would be imprisoned.

But if he had pleaded guilty earlier, Rice could have got further sentence discount.

“Drug dealers in your position need to face up quickly to get benefit of that discount (for guilty pleas). You didn’t,” the judge said.

Rice had been scheduled for a jury trial in March. He pleaded guilty in February to two counts of supplying the drug and one of conspiracy to deal it.

Counsel John Mathieson submitted that although late, his client’s pleas had not seen any witnesses inconvenienced.

Mr Mathieson submitted the start point for the sentence should be four years — less than the Crown’s suggested start point of four and a half years.

There were no mitigating or aggravating features for which the starting point could be adjusted other than the guilty pleas.

Judge Cathcart agreed, reducing the four-year start point by six months for the pleas.

A conservative estimate of the amount of methamphetamine offered by Rice was 30.6 grams, with 6.45 grams actually supplied, the court was told.

Rice had sourced the drug and co-ordinated with his co-accused, Jo Marie Williams, 28, to supply it to her contacts.

(Williams accepted a sentence indication imposed for similar charges earlier this year.)

Their activities between August 2015 and April 2016 were detected through police discovery of text messages.

A GISBORNE man jailed for drug dealing interrupted the sentencing judge to tell him he had seen the error of his ways and was now advising young people to avoid methamphetamine.

Peter Lindsay Charles Rice, 34, appeared for sentence in Gisborne District Court.

Judge Warren Cathcart jailed him for three years, six months.

While Rice had previous convictions, these were his first for drug offending, the court heard.

During sentencing, Rice interrupted the judge to tell him he had now spoken to youth about methamphetamine and was trying to keep them away from it.

Judge Cathcart said he was pleased to hear Rice had taken that attitude and had now faced up to his offending, for which he knew he would be imprisoned.

But if he had pleaded guilty earlier, Rice could have got further sentence discount.

“Drug dealers in your position need to face up quickly to get benefit of that discount (for guilty pleas). You didn’t,” the judge said.

Rice had been scheduled for a jury trial in March. He pleaded guilty in February to two counts of supplying the drug and one of conspiracy to deal it.

Counsel John Mathieson submitted that although late, his client’s pleas had not seen any witnesses inconvenienced.

Mr Mathieson submitted the start point for the sentence should be four years — less than the Crown’s suggested start point of four and a half years.

There were no mitigating or aggravating features for which the starting point could be adjusted other than the guilty pleas.

Judge Cathcart agreed, reducing the four-year start point by six months for the pleas.

A conservative estimate of the amount of methamphetamine offered by Rice was 30.6 grams, with 6.45 grams actually supplied, the court was told.

Rice had sourced the drug and co-ordinated with his co-accused, Jo Marie Williams, 28, to supply it to her contacts.

(Williams accepted a sentence indication imposed for similar charges earlier this year.)

Their activities between August 2015 and April 2016 were detected through police discovery of text messages.

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