Meth business run alongside plastering one

Police found more than $4000 of methamphetamine in deal bags at Timothy Moffatt’s home. PHOTO: NZ...
Police found more than $4000 of methamphetamine in deal bags at Timothy Moffatt’s home. PHOTO: NZ POLICE
A Dunedin father of five was running a successful plastering business until “meth got its hooks into him”, a court has heard.

Timothy Graham Moffatt (45) appeared in the Dunedin District Court this week after pleading guilty to possessing methamphetamine for supply, possessing cannabis and four weapons and ammunition charges.

Counsel John Westgate accepted his client was “no stranger to the courts” but the man wanted the court to know he was more than simply a drug dealer.

New Zealand Companies Office records show Moffatt incorporated Platinum Plastering Services Limited in 2016, not long after serving a stint behind bars for drugs, violence and firearms crimes.

“I have been working on new and old homes for the last 20 years, nothing too small or big,” the defendant wrote on one website.

“We are very professional ... raising the standards.”

An addiction to the class A drug, however, saw all Moffatt’s entrepreneurial efforts wasted.

“It’s a common tale up and down the country,” said Mr Westgate.

Police knew the defendant had been involved in the local drug trade for years, court documents said, and they raided his home on March 24.

There they found 15 ziplock bags containing meth, ready for sale.

The 5.81g had a total street value of more than $4000, police said.

Inside his wallet officers found all the hallmarks of a busy dealer - $1440 in cash and a crudely written tick-list with names of customers and amounts they owed (some more than $1000).

Beside Moffatt’s bed was a bag containing a cut-down .22 semi-automatic rifle and three BB pistols.

Among the cache was 166 rounds of ammunition of various calibre.

And there was also a prohibited 25-round rifle magazine holding 19 cartridges.

A search of the living room turned up two tasers, disguised as torches, along with 26g of cannabis.

The combination of drugs and guns always prompted a strong response from the court, said Judge David Robinson.

“The two go hand-in-hand far too often,” he said.

However, the court received a report about Moffatt’s background which outlined a fractured family relationship and significant hardship he had suffered.

“I hope this is rock bottom for you and the only way is up,” said Judge Robinson.

Mr Westgate stressed the defendant had spent his time on remand desperately searching for a residential rehabilitation programme with a bed available, without success.

Moffatt was jailed for two years but the judge allowed leave to apply for it to be converted to home detention should treatment become available.

The cash was forfeited to the Crown.




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