Warrnambool drug trafficker jailed for ice sales

A WARRNAMBOOL man who admitted to police he was a drug dealer has been jailed for four months.

John Adam Claridge, 27, of Raglan Parade, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool Magistrates Court to trafficking cannabis and methamphetamine and using and possessing cannabis.

He was convicted, fined $500, jailed for 10 months, with four months to serve, and six months’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months.

On October 25 last year Warrnambool undercover police executed a search warrant at Claridge’s Raglan Parade home and he made admissions about trafficking cannabis and methamphetamine, known as ice.

Police officers found 14 grams of cannabis in a plastic resealable bag, other drug paraphernalia and a mobile phone.

Claridge told police he had sold cannabis to friends for a long time and trafficked ice for seven months, selling one point (0.1 gram) for $100.

Claridge told police that for every $1000 of ice sold he received $250 from his supplier, who he refused to name.

He sold ice valued at up to $2000 a week.

The defendant told police he trafficked cannabis to help out friends and sold ice to make money after he lost his job.

Defence counsel Xavier Farrelly said his client had decided to stop his drug use after seeing his then partner was going to use ice in front of their children. 

Claridge has the care of his three young children and was to be his brother’s best man at a wedding next month.

Mr Farrelly requested his client receive a suspended jail sentence.

Magistrate Peter Mellas said that if Claridge was facing a charge of trafficking small amounts of cannabis to friends he may have received a non-custodial sentence, considering his efforts at rehabilitation.

But the magistrate said Claridge had also admitted selling ice for profit.

Mr Mellas said ice was a particularly destructive drug which prompted behaviour throughout the state not seen before.

“People selling drugs for money can expect the most serious consequences possible,” he said.

Mr Mellas said that during Claridge’s seven months trafficking ice he had caused enormous harm to people around him and the community.

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