Cancer diagnosis saw man spiral into ice dealing: Court

A COURT has heard a Halfway Creek man slipped back into methylamphetamine use after a cancer diagnosis, before selling almost 200g of the drug in a 15 day period to fund his addiction.

Gregory John Reilly, 46, appeared in Grafton District Court on Tuesday where he confirmed pleas of guilty to charges of supplying a prohibited drug on an ongoing basis and supply prohibited drug, as well as receiving stolen property and possessing a prohibited firearm.

The court heard that in a 15 day period between June 11-26 last year Reilly had sold 161g of methylamphetamine in a series of transactions, and sold another quantity of the drug on July 16.

Court documents reveal that in December 2018, detectives from Coffs/Clarence Police District established a strike force to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of two people in a fatal crash near Halfway Creek, 20km south of Grafton.

During phone conversations intercepted by detectives a series of drug supplies offences were detected, and about 8.30am on August 8 last year, officers from Coffs/Clarence Police District, with assistance from operational support units, conducted a search warrant on Reilly's Halfway Creek property.

In court on Tuesday Reilly's barrister Dean Woodbury submitted medical evidence that on May 7 last year a mass was discovered in one of Reilly's lungs, and it was diagnosed as a tumour and operated on soon after.

Mr Woodbury said despite abstaining from drugs for 20 years up until that point, Reilly then "reverted back to old habits" and relapsed back into drug use which escalated into drug dealing to support his addiction.

"It's explicable that he got back into drug use after the cancer diagnosis but certainly not acceptable," Mr Woodbury said.

Mr Woodbury submitted while the objective seriousness of the offences were not at the lowest end, Reilly's role wasn't as a bottom feeder but did supply small quantities of methylamphetamine to one person.

"The amount in the end was significantly large but there's no suggestion from the evidence available that this was an elaborate web of drug supply," Mr Woodbury said.

"The intercepted phone calls show no indication the offender was involved as some high-up member of some organisation, and there was no great planning of what was going on."

Mr Woodbury submitted his client had been in custody for 13 months since his arrest last year, and wanted to get his life back on track following these offences.

Judge Clive Jeffreys adjourned the matter to Thursday to hand down final judgment.


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