A FRENCH backpacker who was charged with trafficking drugs at a popular Victorian festival has appealed a three-month jail sentence.
Jeremy Granier, 24, appeared in the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Thursday where he pleaded guilty to one count each of trafficking ecstasy, trafficking cocaine and possessing a prescription drug.
The court heard Granier had been attending the Rainbow Serpent Festival in Lexton when he was found in possession of a black satchel with five zip-lock bags containing 3.1 grams of cocaine, four zip-lock bags containing 4.6g of MDMA, more than 120 MDMA capsules, two valium capsules, two counterfeit $50 notes and $2883 in cash.
Police prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Lisa Schoemaker told the court Granier, who was wearing a Superman costume at the festival, was seen inside a car with a torch shortly after midnight on January 25.
When approached by the owner of the car who asked Granier what he was doing, Granier told the car's owner he was looking for a friend.
Police were called shortly after and located Granier nearby.
When searched by police, Granier was found in possession of the black satchel.
Granier's defence lawyer told the court her client was a French national on a working visa in Australia.
She told the court while Granier originally told police he found the satchel, he in fact didn't find it. She said he purchased it with a group of friends with the drugs distributed among the friends.
She said her client, who had been in custody for 18 days, had intentionally planned to work in Australia for six months but now intended to book a return ticket home.
She asked the magistrate to consider placing Granier on an undertaking of good behaviour while he remained in Australia.
She said if Granier was in Australia on a permanent basis a community corrections order would be appropriate.
Magistrate Mark Stratmann asked Granier’s defence lawyer why her client shouldn't be imprisoned immediately in which she responded that her client never intended on going to the festival and making money by selling the drugs to young people.
She said the drugs had already been paid for and were not sought to be circulated any further than to those friends who had already paid for them.
She added he came from a law abiding family and had no criminal history in Australia or France.
She said a CCO becomes unavailable because of the man's circumstances, and any return to Australia in the future would be monitored by customs.
Mr Stratmann told Granier the community condemned this type of offending.
"The two drugs you've been found with were in significant quantities," he said.
"This community in no way tolerates the spread of illicit drug use in any environment."
Mr Stratmann sentenced Granier to three months imprisonment with the 18 days spent in custody considered time already served.
"Had it not been for your plea of guilty I would have imprisoned you for six months."
Granier lodged an appeal against the sentence and will be heard in the County Court at a later date.
A second French national (not associated with Granier) charged with drug trafficking at the same festival also appeared in court on Thursday.
However due to the lack of a French interpreter he was remanded to reappear in court on February 24.