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Small-time dealer swears off drugs

Wednesday, 16th March, 2016

A small-time drug dealer had paid a heavy price for involvement in the “scourge” of methamphetamine, a judge told the District Court yesterday.

The 57-year-old had spent seven months in jail and had his infant son taken from him after he pleaded guilty to supplying 8.5 grams of “ice” that was of such poor quality that customers had complained about it, said Judge Gregory Farmer.

He said that Cecil Bede Kennedy played only a minor part in a local drug gang and that until he was caught last year he had never been to jail before.

Kennedy and his accomplices were arrested in January after police tapped their mobile phones on which the drug deals were arranged.

He was refused bail and spent just over seven months in prison, and his one-year old son was removed from his custody, the court was told.

In October he pleaded guilty to supplying a prohibited drug and engaging in criminal group activity.

Kennedy told the court yesterday that he regretted getting involved in drugs and would never touch them again.

“My time in jail certainly made me realise there are far better things I could have been doing,” he said.

“The loss of my son is something I can never replace.

“I have certainly learnt my lesson. I am extremely sorry for wasting everyone’s time and doing wrong.”

Judge Farmer said that the gang with which Kennedy was involved imported the ice from Melbourne and was “fairly well organised”.

But it was little more than a “simple amalgamation of people who had some interest in sharing, supplying and using drugs”.

The drugs that Kennedy sold were of “extremely low level purity”, the judge said, and the defendant himself had described them as “sherbet water”.

Nonetheless, methamphetamine was a “scourge on society” and the only punishment for dealing in it was jail, Judge Farmer said.

But Kennedy was remorseful and contrite, and seemed unlikely to reoffend, he said, in sentencing him to time already spent in jail plus 10 months on parole.

On the charge of engaging in criminal group activity, he was ordered to serve 150 hours of community service.

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