A Wanganui man has been sentenced to 10 months' home
detention for unlawfully supplying the methadone implicated
in a woman's fatal overdose.
Clive Kenneth Beach, 58, appeared before Justice Robert
Dobson in the High Court at Whanganui today to be sentenced,
after earlier admitting three counts of supplying methadone,
a class B drug.
One count related to the methadone involved in the death of
Sanchia Wilson and two were representative.
Beach supplied a quantity of the drug to the man accused of
Miss Wilson's murder, Mathew Johns.
Miss Wilson, 33, died in Wellington Hospital on April 1,
having fallen unconscious at Beach's Castlecliff home on
March 28 from alleged drug-related causes.
Justice Dobson agreed with the Crown's submission that, in
selling methadone prescribed for his use, Beach had abused
the trust bestowed to him as a registered methadone user,
which had the wider implication of casting doubt on
The court heard how Beach had started diverting methadone at
the beginning of this year to make money.
He collected the drug on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and
was entrusted to administer his prescription on every other
day of the week.
Justice Dobson acknowledged "there was no great commerciality
involved" in the offending - Beach would charge $80 per unit,
and some methadone had been bartered for bottles of
home-brewed whiskey - but the seriousness of the drug dealing
was underscored by Miss Wilson's death.
Beach, who sustained head injuries in a road crash in 1976,
has been a methadone user for more than 20 years.
His lawyer, Peter Brosnahan, appealed for a sentence of home
detention on the basis Beach was "not a well man for obvious
reasons"; limited in his mobility and prone to seizures.
Justice Dobson said he had significant concerns about
delivering such a sentence, given the address proposed for
Beach's home detention was the same property where the
offending had occurred.
However, since being charged, Beach has been required to
collect and consume his prescription at a Wanganui pharmacy.
In the end, Justice Dobson said he was satisfied that, given
the 58-year-old's ailing condition, imprisonment would be
Beach was sentenced to 10 months' home detention.
- By Aaron van Delden of The Wanganui Chronicle