Labourer became addicted to dealing drugs, court hears

A man who started off selling cannabis to pay off a debt became addicted to dealing.

Yesterday, Tumai Rohe Karetai (34), labourer, of Invercargill, appeared for sentence on 43 drugs-related charges, all between April and October last year.

Judge Jim Large said 14 charges were for selling or supplying cannabis, 13 for offering to supply cannabis, 15 for possession of cannabis for supply and one charge of possession of LSD.

Karetai began dealing drugs to repay debt owed to a supplier, the judge said.

"Its likely you quite liked the lifestyle and continued dealing from that point of view, not just to pay off the debt that I would imagine could have been settled in the first month or so," Judge Large said.

The summary of facts states during the six-month period of dealing illegal drugs, Karetai supplied cannabis, offered to supply cannabis or was in possession of cannabis at least 501 times.

In total, 3.2kg of cannabis was supplied at a selling price of $52,990.

While the judge accepted Karetai would still need to pay his supplier, he said there would have still been profit for him.

"You said in explanation to police that you needed some extra money for food for your children."

Defence counsel Roger Eagles said the cultural report referred to Karetai’s addiction to dealing.

"He’d fallen into a way of life."

Judge Large said Karetai did not have the best opportunities growing up.

"But you have children now and you have to take responsibility for their future.

"It’s probably time to set an example in an opposite direction to the example that your father set you."

Judge Large sentenced Karetai to six months’ community detention, two years’ intensive supervision and 18 months’ judicial monitoring. He remitted $2338 Karetai owed in outstanding fines for 60 hours’ community work.



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