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In the Queenstown District Court yesterday, Judge Bernadette Farnan also granted permanent name suppression to the 30-year-old sales assistant who had earlier admitted importing class A-controlled psilocybin on October 11.
She said the man’s offending came to light when New Zealand Customs screened a package addressed to the defendant.
It was found to contain 55.6g of the drug, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms.
The defendant said he bought it online from a Dutch website to help treat his depression.
The website allegedly said it was legal in New Zealand and it could be imported to this country.
Through counsel Hugo Young, the man sought a discharge without conviction.
Mr Young submitted the offending was at the lowest end of the scale, the amount involved was small and he had "genuine reasons" to purchase the drug, which he had done so before, legally, in other jurisdictions.
Police were opposed to the discharge but accepted the defendant had "significant" mental health challenges and were not opposed to name suppression being granted.
Judge Farnan ultimately found the gravity of his offending to be in the lower category and said a conviction would exacerbate his already ‘‘serious’’ mental health issues.
Other consequences included impacts on his current and future employment.
Judge Farnan granted the discharge, however, she ordered the man to make a $500 donation to the Salvation Army and pay $130 court costs.
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• Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor
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