A 20-year-old who was caught trafficking drugs at Rainbow Serpent Music Festival near Lexton has successfully appealed his five-month jail sentence.
Loughlan Deburg appeared in County Court in Ballarat on Thursday, after pleading guilty to three counts of trafficking MDMA, ketamine and cannabis earlier this year.
The court heard on January 25 at 7.50pm, the guilty man was seen by police handing over a ziplock bag in the festival's camping ground, before receiving a wad of cash.
When police approached him, Deburg was holding two ziplock bags of cannabis. Crown prosecutor Gary Hevey said the man tried to run away from police and "jumped and weaved in between tents and campervans" before he was apprehended.
When his belongings were searched by police, the 20-year-old had 28 snap lock bags of ketamine, weighing 30.2 grams, 8 bags of MDMA, weighing 10.3 grams and two large bags of cannabis weighing 44.5 grams. He also had $2600 and a set of silver scales.
He refused to comment about the offending in a police interview.
Deburg spent 59 days in custody prior to being granted bail to appeal his sentence.
Deburg's defence counsel, Andrew Halphen, told the court that since being in custody Deburg had "developed his insight and remorse" around the offending and had no prior convictions when he pleaded guilty.
He said Deburg had engaged in drug treatment and had an opportunity to return to work, and should be given a therapeutic community corrections order as he was young and had good prospects for rehabilitation.
"My submission that the court can have regard to time spent in custody, but reckon it as served, due to his age and rehabilitative prospects," he said.
"His role is tantamount of that to a street trafficker.
"He should be given every opportunity to move away from this period of his life ... any sentence not go beyond time he's already done."
Mr Hevey said the Ballarat Magistrates Court had dealt with a number of young drug traffickers following the music festival earlier this year, but did not call for the earlier sentence to be upheld in full despite Deburg being found with a "number of drugs and a large quantity of cash".
Judge Gavan Meredith overturned the Ballarat Magistrates Court ruling of five months' imprisonment, re-sentencing Deburg to 59 days' jail which is time served and a 12 months community corrections order.
"This is organised drug trafficking at a music festival. He might only be 20, but he's quite an entrepreneurial 20-year-old," Judge Meredith said.
"He's got ketamine, he's got cannabis and he's got ecstasy.
"Mr Deburg is in the eyes of the law a young offender, notwithstanding that he was found with a not inconsiderable amount of cash and was part of organised drug dealing ... but I am prepared to give him this opportunity."
Deburg was fined $250 for possessing the controlled substance Valium.
Following this year's festival, police arrested 54 people for drug-related offences, with 12 people initially charged with trafficking.
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.