VICTORIAN County Court judge Paul Grant yesterday made it clear he would deal firmly with methamphetamine sellers, warning a Terang ‘ice’ dealer that a sentence handed down earlier this year might not be tough enough.
His warning prompted the dealer, Jarrod Wynd, 22, now of Marngoneet prison at Lara, to quickly withdraw an appeal against the severity of the 18-month jail sentence imposed by Warrnambool magistrate Peter Mellas in late January.
Judge Grant said evidence showing Wynd was selling ice — crystal methamphetamine — to a number of people indicated he was “a big-time operator”.
“I have wrestled with whether the magistrate imposed enough for someone trafficking at this scale and who armed himself with weapons. The 18 months sentence seems to be fairly generous,” Judge Grant said.
He told Wynd’s lawyer, Stephen Payne, he should regard his statements as a warning about any future judgement by him on Wynd’s appeal.
The warning prompted Mr Payne to quickly consult with Wynd who decided to abandon his appeal.
Judge Grant had earlier said Wynd’s possession of a shotgun and a crossbow placed him “in real trouble”.
He also took issue with Wynd’s statement that he had become involved with ice because all his friends were using the drug.
He said a reference presented to the court from one of Wynd’s friends said the friend was opposed to drugs.
“Who are these friends who seduced him into a life of drugs?” Judge Grant asked.
“Now they are not supporting him when he is in trouble.”
Wynd had earlier told the court that ice was “wrecking the world” and had wrecked his life. He said he had become hooked on it and had lost all his friends.
He sold the drug to fund his own use of it, Wynd said.
Mr Payne said Wynd had lost his partner, contact with his family and his job because of his involvement with ice.
Wynd’s descent into “the world of ice was rapid” and that until the middle of last year he had been a well-respected member of the Terang community.
He had been engaged and a proud father of two young children.
Wynd was a qualified diesel mechanic, trusted by his employer and with no criminal history before last year, Mr Payne said. He had not been on “the police radar” when arrested and his confession to his crimes should have gained him a discount on the penalty imposed.
Prosecutor David O’Doherty had earlier told the court Wynd admitted his trafficking when police investigated a Terang burglary in November in which