Prison likely for drug supplier

Supplying a class C drug may result in jail for a Dunedin man.

Elliot Douglas Harris (25), painter, of Warrington, appeared before Judge Kevin Phillips in the Dunedin District Court yesterday.

He pleaded guilty to a single charge of (jointly with Mahita Anania Damion Chapman) supplying Benzylpiperazine (BZP), to persons unknown at Queenstown between March 11 and June 29 last year.

Harris had initially denied the charge and appeared in court yesterday for a pre-trial callover. He sought leave to vacate his plea of not guilty and enter a guilty plea.

Crown counsel Richard Smith said Harris was in possession of 40 BZP tablets and told Chapman he had sold 12 tablets for $25 each.

Chapman wanted more money for each tablet and asked Harris to return the remainder, which he did, Mr Smith said.

''So the basic allegation is that he sold 12 tablets before returning the remainder to Chapman,'' he said.

Chapman has already pleaded and been dealt with in relation to the case.

Harris was convicted and remanded on bail to May 13 for sentencing.

Judge Phillips said Harris had seven relevant previous convictions under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, including for sale and cultivation.

The maximum penalty for supplying a class C drug is eight years' jail.

Judge Phillips said Harris had an ''appalling'' history of breaching community-based sentences and imprisonment was likely.

''You should come to court on May 13 in the full knowledge that probably you will go to prison on a full-time custodial basis.''

But Judge Phillips said he did not want to ''shut the gate'' preemptively and granted Harris bail on the basis he may receive a community-based sentence.

He imposed bail conditions barring Harris from buying, possessing or consuming drugs or alcohol, and entering licensed premises.

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