AN Alfredton father-of-one was “way out of his depth” when he began selling drugs to pay off his dealer, according to his defence counsel Mike Waddell.
Paul Ryan, 28, received a four-month jail term, suspended for 18 months, in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday on charges of trafficking ecstasy, trafficking amphetamines and dealing with property suspected of being the proceeds of crime.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Clint Prebble said Ryan’s ute was intercepted in Gillies Street on May 12 this year, where drugs were found concealed behind the driver’s seat.
They included 146 grams of amphetamine and 418 ecstasy tablets.
Sen Const Prebble said Ryan told police he sold them to support his own habit.
Mr Waddell said Ryan had been using cannabis off and on since he was 16 and amphetamines since he was 18 to cope with a lot of stress in his life.
However, his supplier then refused to sell him anything other than large quantities.
But Mr Waddell said Ryan didn’t know who he could on-sell the drugs too and still owed the dealer $30,000.
“He purchased 500 ecstasy tablets but over the next five months only sold 82 of those,” Mr Waddell said.
“He was using more of it himself.”
He said Ryan had since undertaken drug and alcohol counselling.
“He was a person way out of his depth. He was not reaping any kind of financial reward.
“He’s a hard-working family man who has put the drugs behind him.”
Magistrate Kay Robertson said she hoped Ryan realised the seriousness of his actions.
“Trafficking should attract a prison sentence,” Ms Robertson said.
“You just don’t know where those drugs are going to end up ... and the damage they can do.
“It clearly knocked you off centre.
“The police have to deal with dead bodies and with people who are violent every day and I’m not talking about the back streets of Melbourne but I’m talking about Ballarat.
“Quite rightly, you will be on the police radar because their job is to make the community safe and ensure no drugs are moving around.”