Mildura dealer stays in jail

A MILDURA drug trafficker’s plea to be released from jail to care for his mother has been rejected by a magistrate because of the “untold harm” drugs had on the community.

Magistrate Michael Coghlan told accused man 24-year-old Nathan Stevens that any trafficking of methylamphetamine was “particularly serious” and resulted in assaults, burglaries and other problems in the community.

Stevens had served five days in custody before this week being sentenced by Mr Coghlan to a total 21 days’ imprisonment as well as a Community Corrections Order to perform 100 hours of community work.

Stevens told Mr Coghlan that as a full-time carer for his mother he wanted out of jail.

“I thought I would have been released today,” the accused said.

However, Mr Coghlan rejected the proposal.

“Of course you want to go home … but you’re not going to go home,” Mr Coghlan said.

“I think a sentence of 21 days and a CCO is fairly modest for people who engage in this behaviour,” the magistrate said.

The court was told police intercepted Stevens driving a rental vehicle on July 4 this year containing two passengers near the intersection of Madden Avenue and Tenth Street.

Police had a brief conversation with Stevens during which the parties were told they were to be searched and the accused declared there was a hatchet in the front passenger side door.

However, police also found an amount of white crystal substance, a set of scales, a bag containing drug paraphernalia including deal bags, straws, an ice pipe and a police insignia.

Stevens’ mobile phone records also revealed he had been trafficking methylamphetamine.

The accused told police he knew a lot of people and sometimes he could “move” illicit drugs.

“I’m not a drug dealer – I do it sometimes to make some extra cash when it’s needed,” he told police.

The court was told the man was driving a rental vehicle after his car was damaged in a crash following a police pursuit in Fourteenth Street on April 23 this year.

Stevens, whose licence was suspended at the time, told police he had been a passenger in the car and another man had been behind the wheel, but made a claim telling his insurance company he was the licensed driver of the vehicle.

The court was told Stevens had shown a blatant disregard to conditions of his bail.

Stevens’ defence counsel Peter Delorenzo told the court that text messages on his mobile phone about drug trafficking related to another person, but Mr Coghlan had a different view.

“It’s on his phone … he’s part of it,” the magistrate said.

As well as the 21-day term of imprisonment, Stevens was disqualified from driving for three months and ordered to provide police with a sample of his DNA.

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