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Short jail term for drug dealer

Saturday, 16th May, 2015

By Craig Brealey

Despite his 114 charges of selling methamphetamine, a local drug dealer was on the bottom rung of the criminal enterprise, a judge told the District Court yesterday.

Judge Norrish made his comments as he sentenced Leigh Dean Gaiter (31) to 15 months’ full-time custody.

Gaiter was arrested in April last year and charged with supplying methamphetamine, cannabis and possessing $1000 in cash suspected of being the proceeds of crime.

He was caught by police who had intercepted calls and text messages from his mobile phone between August 2013 and February 2014.

The court was told yesterday that the phone was registered to someone in Gilgandra, NSW and that Gaiter and his customers used code words to place their orders for the drug known as “ice”.

Judge Norrish said that most of the orders were for quantities of less than one gram (known as “points”).

One point (or 0.1 of a gram) was typically sold for $100 but Gaiter offered a discount for larger orders; on one occasion he sold half a gram for $383, the judge said.

Gaiter had told the court that he started dealing because he was addicted to the drug and that he only sold it to a few friends.

He also admitted that he sometimes sold it underweight to keep more for himself but insisted that he did not make any monetary profit.

Judge Norrish dismissed the latter claim, saying Gaiter was unemployed when he was dealing and must therefore have had an “independent source of income”.

It was obvious, he said, that there must have been some financial gain “even if only to buy drugs for himself”.

He was not, however, a big time crook, the judge said.

“While there was extensive trafficking, with over 100 transactions ... it was a modest quantity.

“This is not a person who was dealing in wholesale ... he was more or less at the end of the food chain.”

The judge said Gaiter had refused to say who had supplied him with the methamphetamine that he sold.

“Whoever was providing him with the drugs is no doubt continuing to do so unless he or she is in jail,” he said.

Although Gaiter had originally been charged with 114 offences, the “points” from each deal were added up and he was sentenced on one charge of supplying a total of 25 grams.

For this he received two years and seven months’ jail with 15 months’ non parole which the judge ordered him to spend getting treatment for his addiction, panic attacks and anti-social behaviour.

Judge Norrish said Gaiter, with his qualifications in welding and crane operation, had good prospects.

“He seems genuinely desirous of getting off drugs and re-establishing himself in the community,” the judge said.

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