Drug dealing, assault bring jail sentence of 20 months

A 19-year-old man facing almost 30 drug-related charges has been told it is time to turn his life around.

Zane Ray Collins was sentenced by Judge John Brandts-Giesen yesterday in the Invercargill District Court.

Collins was facing a charge of assault with intent to injure, receiving property, and 28 charges relating to drugs, including possession of and offering to supply MDMA, methamphetamine, LSD and cannabis.

The summary of facts said Collins had "close links" to Mongrel Mob members in Invercargill and Southland.

On July 30, 2020, police executed a search warrant at Collins’ address and seized and examined his mobile phone.

Facebook messages were found showing the defendant was dealing Class A, B and C drugs.

Photos of a Giorgio Armani suit, stolen from a house at McMaster St in June last year, were also found on the mobile along with messages of him trying to sell the suit, valued at $1000, for $120.

The charge of intent to injure related to an incident in September last year, when he was already at the Invercargill prison and instigated a "vicious attack" on a fellow prisoner.

During the attack, he forcefully kicked the victim in the face and head multiple times.

Defence counsel Hugo Young said his client wrote a compelling letter explaining his situation and outlining issues he had.

Judge Brandts-Giesen acknowledged the letter and said he believed this was a turning point in Collins’ life.

He said Collins had had difficulties during his childhood which were "very real", and continued to affect him.

Judge Brandts-Giesen said he did not like to send people to prison, but due to the seriousness of the charges, he had no other choice.

However, he said he believed in the possibility of rehabilitation and this was now in Collins’ hands.

With the discounts for an early guilty plea and taking his age into consideration, Judge Brandts-Giesen indicated a sentence of 24 months. However, he further reduced it to 20 months, citing the difficulties Collins had experienced in his life.

Collins would need to complete any drug and alcohol counselling and any programme imposed by Corrections.

Judge Brandts-Giesen also granted leave to allow him to apply for home detention.

"It is really turning-around time.

"Other people have done it, so can you."

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