Meth dealer sentenced to 25 months jail
A Geraldton man who lost both his legs while working on a Pilbara mine site five years ago has been jailed for 25 months for dealing methamphetamine.
Bevan John Coutts, 52, was working for subcontractor Scheduled Maintenance Services when he was crushed by a hydraulic arm at Fortescue Metals Group’s loading facility in Port Hedland in 2011.
Coutts, who appeared by videolink from Geraldton Courthouse for the sentencing hearing in the Perth District Court last week, was found guilty of one count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to sell or supply.
He pleaded guilty to a second count of the same charge on the morning of the trial.
The court was told Coutts sold ice to an undercover police operative in Geraldton on July 24 and September 1 last year.
On the first occasion, the police operative, who was driven by another man to Coutts’ house, paid $4400 for 6.89g of the drug, which had a purity of about 80 per cent.
On the second occasion, the man introduced the police operative to Coutts, who sold him another 6.5g of the drug.
In a recorded conversation, Coutts can be heard giving his phone number to the police operative, and discuss codewords to use in the event he wanted to buy more.
Defence lawyer Ryan Arndt said Coutts was an “intermediary” to a mid-tier drug dealer and said his client did not receive money for his involvement, but was given small quantities of “good quality” methamphetamine.
Mr Arndt said Coutts did not need money because he had received a large payout after the mining accident.
Judge Anette Schoombee said the fact Coutts did not receive monetary payment for his role in distributing the drug did not “excuse (his) conduct or mitigate it in any way”. Coutts will be eligible for parole after serving half of the 25-month sentence.