'Reckless and determined' drug dealer jailed

Siu Taga, described in court as "a reckless and determined cannabis dealer", has been jailed for three years.

Crown prosecutor Nicola Robson said he had been getting about $200 a day from his dealing and the judge has ordered forfeiture of nearly $3000 cash he was found with.

Defence counsel Mark Callaghan said Taga, 37, was a cannabis addict who was under pressure from others to continue with his dealing. He was using the money to support his children.

He was arrested three times for cannabis offending over the last six months. He committed offences in February and March while on bail.

Taga had pleaded guilty to charges of possessing cannabis for sale and for selling the class C drug, then charges of allowing premises to be used for smoking the drug, and possessing instruments for smoking it.

In March he was again arrested for possessing it for supply and for selling it.

His pre-sentence report said he had a long list of convictions and was a recidivist offender living a criminal lifestyle.

His expression of remorse was questionable because he had committed further offences twice while on bail.

He had proved to be unwilling to comply with court orders such as prison release conditions and supervision.

"You have a cannabis dependency and really see no reason why you need to change," said Judge Stephen Erber. "Offending while on bail shows you are a reckless and determined cannabis dealer."

At the Christchurch District Court sentencing at the Rangiora Court House today, he imposed cumulative sentences totalling three years and ordered forfeiture of the cash.


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