'Absolute dill': Drug-dealer in school uniform fined $3000 on first day of term

A student who fronted court in his school uniform has been fined $3000 for trafficking cannabis and been called an "absolute dill" by a magistrate.

Tyler Hetherington, 18, from Port Fairy, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court on Monday to one charge of trafficking cannabis.

The fine was imposed without a conviction being recorded.

Police found about 10 grams of cannabis as well as seeds and other drug paraphernalia.

Police found about 10 grams of cannabis as well as seeds and other drug paraphernalia.

Police said that at 8.30am on June 3 undercover police officers executed a search warrant at Hetherington's home.

He was asleep in his bedroom and his mobile phone was seized.

Hetherington told police there were cannabis seeds in his car.

Officers searched his car and in the spare wheel compartment found two zip lock bags containing seeds.

There were also numerous unused zip lock bags, two bags with about 10 grams of cannabis and eight boxes of miniature gas cylinders – 64 cylinders – used for chroming.

On the phone there were also messages to a cousin relating to drugs transactions, on April 22 and May 23.

Hetherington told police his cousin had only bought cannabis off him twice.

Defence counsel Tony Robinson said that his client turned 18 at the start of January and appeared in court wearing his school uniform as it was the first day back at school after the holidays.

He said Hetherington's position at Emmanuel College was under review pending the court hearing.

The solicitor said Hetherington had no prior court appearances and he submitted that a non-conviction fine was appropriate.

"He is very young and was utterly co-operative with police telling them where the drugs were," Mr Robinson said.

The solicitor said Hetherington had an outstanding work ethic and had started working in a restaurant when he was 12 years old.

Magistrate Cynthia Toose said Hetherington had been an "absolute dill".

She said Hetherington had made a grave error, trafficking cannabis was a very serious charge but it was his first appearance at court and he had strong family support.

The magistrate said that before becoming entangled in the enterprise Hetherington had been a model citizen and made significant contributions to both the Port Fairy Surf Life Saving Club and the Port Fairy Football Netball Club.

"I have no doubt you have learnt your lesson and will not be back in court," Ms Toose told Hetherington.

The Standard, Warrnambool

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