A student who admitted supplying Ritalin to other students in
Dunedin has had his conviction and sentence quashed by the
Court of Appeal.
Last January, Druvi Patrick Rodrigo (then 23) appeared in the
Dunedin District Court before Judge Grant Fraser and admitted
selling methylphenidate (Ritalin), a class B drug, between
February 1 and September 28, 2012.
He was convicted and on April 26 sentenced to 10 months' home
detention and 200 hours' community work.
But when a co-offender was later discharged without
conviction after admitting the same offence, Mr Rodrigo
appealed against his conviction and sentence.
The Court of Appeal released its decision yesterday,
discharging Mr Rodrigo without conviction.
His lawyer, Fiona Guy Kidd, of Invercargill, said Mr Rodrigo
The decision stated Mr Rodrigo's offending was "at the low
end" and the likely consequences of conviction for him were
"We consider that the consequences of conviction are out of
all proportion to that offending. We consider the proper
outcome in these circumstances is to discharge Mr Rodrigo
without conviction," the Court of Appeal said.
Mr Rodrigo was studying commerce at the University of Otago
when police obtained text message data which identified him
as a Ritalin supplier.
When police searched his home and found 17 Ritalin tablets in
his bedroom, Mr Rodrigo admitted he had been supplying the
drug to three other students to help them study, and using
the profit to buy Ritalin for his own use.
The Court of Appeal said Mr Rodrigo's operation was
unsophisticated and "drug dealing at the lower end of
It took into account his young age, lack of other offending
and desire to travel to the United States or Canada to live
The court also considered his formal diagnosis as having
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), for which
Ritalin is prescribed, which came after his sentencing.
The Court of Appeal said Mr Rodrigo was taking steps to treat
his condition and was unlikely to reoffend.