Otago Daily Times

Drugs sen­tence re­duced


- GUY WIL­LIAMS guy.wil­liams@odt.co.nz Crime · Narcotic Drugs · Prison · Society · Queenstown · District Court · New Zealand · Queenstown · Robert Osborne

A GER­MAN man im­pris­oned for drug deal­ing in Queen­stown can ap­ply for home de­ten­tion af­ter the length of his prison sen­tence was re­duced on ap­peal.

Sven Stephan Har­rieder (30) was ar­rested af­ter po­lice ex­e­cuted a search war­rant at Deco Back­pack­ers in the re­sort on June 25.

They found cannabis in his room with an es­ti­mated street value of be­tween $27,000 and $55,000, cash to­talling $117,826, 10 tabs of LSD, four mo­bile phones and a lap­top.

Dur­ing the search, 45 no­ti­fi­ca­tions were re­ceived on the phones, but Har­rieder re­fused to give po­lice the pass­codes.

In the Queen­stown Dis­trict Court on Au­gust 10, Judge Ber­nadette Far­nan sen­tenced him to 26 months’ im­pris­on­ment af­ter he ad­mit­ted pos­ses­sion of class C­con­trolled cannabis for sup­ply, pos­ses­sion of class B­con­trolled LSD and fail­ing to as­sist a de­tec­tive to ex­er­cise a search.

From a start­ing point of three years and four months’ prison, Judge Far­nan ap­plied a 35% de­duc­tion for the dif­fi­culty he may have ex­pe­ri­enced in cus­tody as a for­eigner in a New Zealand prison, as well as his re­morse, pre­vi­ous good char­ac­ter and guilty plea.

Har­rieder ap­pealed the de­ci­sion in the High Court at Queen­stown on Septem­ber 17 on the grounds the length of im­pris­on­ment was ‘‘man­i­festly ex­ces­sive’’.

Coun­sel Hugo Young ar­gued the start­ing point was too high given the case law cited by the Crown.

Judge Far­nan had erred in say­ing the onus was on the de­fen­dant to prove a lack of pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions in his home coun­try, Mr Young said.

A few days af­ter the sen­tenc­ing, he re­ceived a copy of the de­fen­dant’s crim­i­nal record that showed he had no con­vic­tions.

That ev­i­dence should be taken ac­count of in the ap­peal, he said.

In his de­ci­sion, Jus­tice Robert Os­borne found the start­ing point and de­duc­tion ap­plied by Judge Far­nan were ap­pro­pri­ate.

How­ever, the pro­vi­sion of Har­rieder’s Ger­man crim­i­nal record meant the court now had ‘‘the full in­for­ma­tion which was not avail­able’’ at sen­tenc­ing, and the de­fen­dant was en­ti­tled to a fur­ther 5% dis­count.

A dis­count of 40% brought the end sen­tence to 24 months’ prison, which meant the de­fen­dant qual­i­fied for a home de­ten­tion sen­tence.

Jus­tice Os­borne granted Har­rieder leave to ap­ply for home de­ten­tion, the out­come of which would de­pend on whether a suit­able res­i­dence was avail­able.

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