42 year old tobacconist avoids full time jail for supplying 643g of synthetic cannabis

Our client is a 42 year old man who owns a Tobacco shop in Blacktown. He has been in the tobacco business for several years. In late 2017, his shop was searched by way of warrant and he was found in possession of 643 grams of synthetic cannabis and in possession of two prohibited weapons.

Our client was subsequently charged with supplying of prohibited drug pursuant to section 25 of Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act and two counts of possession of prohibited weapons without permit.

The matter proceeded through the local court where extensive negotiations were conducted to amend the facts and to have the two counts of possess prohibited weapons charges placed on a Form 1. On that basis our client entered a plea of guilty to the supply charge and was committed for sentence in the Parramatta District Court.

Our team of senior criminal lawyers consisted of Fahim Khan who assisted the client to prepare for sentence. This involved obtaining a report from a psychologist. It also involved our client attending counselling sessions, and preparing character reference letters.

On the day of sentence, our senior lawyer, Fahim Khan submitted on very compelling submissions to the Judge. Those submissions included what was transpiring in our client’s life at the time of the offence.

Our client was in a significant financial stress with the changes in the tobacco industry. The increase in the price of cigarettes and the expenses of running a business, our client was struggling financially to support his family and keep his shop open.

He was visited by a person who offered him an easy way out by supplying him drugs that he could sell to others for a profit. Given the desperate time in his life, where his family and his business were at stake, our client was vulnerable and despite his better judgement he was persuaded to take the risk of supplying drugs.

He eventually came to the attention of the authorities who then seized the majority of the drugs from his shop. Our client sold the synthetic cannabis for about 3 months for a profit. He was rather in losses.

The District Court Judge took our client’s circumstances and subjective circumstances into consideration, namely hardship to his family and his good prospects of rehabilitation. In the result, the Judge agreed to not send our client to full time prison, instead our client received an Intensive Corrections Order for 2 years with 550 hours of community service included.

Our client was very pleased that he did not receive a full time custodial sentence and is able to serve his punishment in the community whilst not losing his business and family.

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