Grandfather sentenced to jail for selling his prescription drugs

A drug-dealing grandfather who made at least $10,000 from his involvement with an organised drug ring was yesterday sentenced in the Oamaru District Court yesterday to almost two years in jail.

Byron Malcolm Nicol (51), pleaded guilty to three counts of supplying the Class B drug methadone, and one count of attempting to pervert the cause of justice.

Andrew McRae, acting for the Crown, said Nicol, who was prescribed methadone, had made between $50 -$75 a week from selling his medication over a four-year period between July 2008 and August 2012, and said he would have made $10,000-$15,000 profit a year from his actions.

Defence counsel David Jackson said the man, who was a grandfather, had initially only sold methadone to a friend. It was only when ''pressure was applied'' by associates that he became involved with a drug ring.

Mr Jackson said the offending happened at a time when Nicol's son had died, and he was ''struggling to cope with that loss''.

Judge Joanna Maze accepted the man had to some extent been a ''gullible tool'' and the offending had been of a ''low level''.

However, Judge Maze added that Nicol had known he was part of a supply chain and his offending had been premeditated and occurred over a sustained period of time.

Nicol was sentenced to one year and 10 months in prison on three charges of supplying methadone, and three months prison (concurrent), for attempting to pervert the cause of justice.