Community work, curfew for dealer

Ryan Robinson. Photo: ODT
Ryan Robinson. Photo: ODT
A Queenstown man described by a judge as a "low-level street dealer" of cocaine has been sentenced to community work and a curfew.

A search of Ryan Michael Robinson’s home by police on October 5 uncovered 5.21g of cocaine in his bedside cabinet and $340 cash in a jacket.

Robinson, 37, told officers he had supplied the class A drug to "multiple people throughout the Queenstown area", including friends, for the previous 12 months.

He had been intending to use the seized cash to buy more of the drug.

At Robinson’s sentencing in the Queenstown District Court on Wednesday on charges of supplying cocaine and possessing cocaine for supply, counsel Hugo Young said it was a "sad story" of a man whose drug addiction had led him in to small-scale dealing.

The defendant, who was "not street smart", had been having treatment for his addiction since his arrest.

"He sees this as an opportunity — he’s on a new path in life."

Mr Young asked Judge Russell Walker for a sentence of community work and community detention, which would allow the defendant to continue working fulltime while observing a night-time curfew.

Judge Walker said a pre-sentence report stated the defendant had been using about 2g of cocaine a week, on week days and weekends, and was relieved to be caught as he had been unable to find a way out of his addiction.

He agreed with counsel for the defendant and the Crown that 20 months’ imprisonment was an appropriate starting point for sentencing.

That came down to 10 months after he applied discounts for Robinson’s early guilty plea, lack of previous convictions and the "addiction-driven" nature of the offending.

He converted that to an end sentence of five months’ community detention, along with 150 hours’ community work and 12 months’ supervision.