“The authority is clear and I send an important message to the community – low level street dealers will spend time behind bars.”
This stern warning was issued by Bunbury Magistrate Brian Mahon on Monday as he sentenced Jarred Mickal Hearn, 32, to eight months immediate imprisonment.
Between October 14 and October 15, 2017, Hearn offered to sell three different people 0.5, 0.5 and 0.1 grams of methamphetamine respectively.
When police raided his East Bunbury home on October 27, they seized a number of items from a safe, including scales, nine glass smoking implements, clip seal bags, a small amount of methamphetamine, tick lists and a mobile phone used to communicate drug deals.
Defence lawyer Michael Joubert told the court his client “has a problem with methamphetamines and was getting counselling”.
“He was associating with the wrong crowd and has accepted work in the Wheatbelt after his counselling is done to move on from these issues,” Mr Joubert said.
Mr Mahon told Hearn he was known as “a straight shooter” and that “he took no pleasure from issuing a jail term”.
“There is a world of difference between someone caught up in the grips of an addiction and someone who has engaged in commercial dealing,” Mr Mahon said.
“I accept that your dealing was at the lower end of severity and done to subsidise your own habit but it has been made clear to me over a number of years that meth tears lives apart.
“In 2012 Judge Allan Fenbury, before his retirement, sentenced a woman in Perth to 12 months imprisonment for dealing 0.3 grams of heroin – a sentence that was recently found to be fair and just by the court of appeals.”
The appeal of Ness v The State of Western Australia in 2013 noted a drug dealer (including an active low level dealer) will not ordinarily receive a sentence less than immediate imprisonment because he or she is involved in dealing a very small quantity of a prohibited drug.
Mr Mahon sentenced Hearn to eight months jail for possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell or supply, three-month concurrent terms for offering to sell or supply a prohibited drug to another and a $1200 fine for possession of nine glass smoking implements.
Hearn was made eligible for parole and an order of destruction for the drugs was issued.