Meth dealer sen­tenced to 25 months jail

Pilbara News - - News - Shan­non Hamp­ton

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.

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