Warrnambool drug dealer dad fined after supplying sons with cannabis

A WARRNAMBOOL drug trafficker who supplied his son with cannabis daily in an effort to keep him under control has received a suspended jail sentence and been fined $2250.

Warren John Bell, 51, of Kruger Street, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool Magistrates Court yesterday to supplying a drug to a child, as well as trafficking, using and possessing cannabis.

Police said officers executed a search warrant at a Kruger Street home on August 7 where Bell lived with his 17-year-old and 21-year-old sons.

They found two bags of cannabis, one containing 448 grams, the other 200g. They also found another 16 grams in another part of the house and 17 grams in the younger son’s bedroom. 

Bell told police he gave his younger son one gram of cannabis a day to keep him calm and also to the older son on a needs basis.

He said his younger son had ADHD and medication didn’t work, while cannabis “kept him at bay” and settled him down.

Bell said he was doing what he could to keep his son out of trouble, it was better to teach him to move forward with his life and stay away from ice.

The 16 grams was for Bell’s own use.

Defence counsel Belinda Northey said the death of Bell’s son’s best friend’s father resulted in the boys acting up and Bell tried to contain the situation by providing a small amount of cannabis regularly to his son. 

She said some of Bell’s son’s other friends were going down the path of ice addiction and her client had attempted to prevent that happening.

Ms Northey said Bell bought and sold cannabis to a group of friends who took turns to supply each other drugs for no profit.

Magistrate John Lesser said he could partly understand Bell’s actions in relation to his son but because of the defendant’s own history he should have realised he should not be encouraging his son to use any illicit substance.

He said Bell had put himself in a very difficult position and only time would tell how his sons turned out with one already involved in the court system due to drug issues.

The magistrate said anyone who dealt with cannabis was breaking the law although there was currently a lot of debate about that in the community.

Mr Lesser said Bell’s drug trafficking was at the lower end of the scale but no trafficking was appropriate and drugs caused enormous harm to the community.

Bell was convicted, fined $2250 and sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment which was suspended for two years.

“If you come back to court in the next two years you will serve that time as a starting point,” the magistrate told Bell.

“You run a severe risk if you reoffend.”