POLICE came knocking on Kiel Sharkey’s Northstoke Way home so he started flushing marijuana down the toilet in a desperate and unsuccessful bid to destroy evidence.
The 27-year-old was caught dealing drugs after police set up surveillance on his home and searched a woman who had allegedly purchased drugs from the house, the day before.
Sharkey’s solicitor Philip Boncardo, argued in Orange Local Court on Thursday his client was suffering from a mental illness and at the time of the offence was smoking marijuana and drinking 21 standard drinks per day.
“It is my submission that since the offence, he has made a stellar effort to redeem himself,” he said.
Mr Boncardo said Sharkey had enrolled in two drug rehabilitation programs and had been in “quasi custody” in those programs for six months and had not used drugs or drunk alcohol since he was arrested.
Mt Boncardo argued Sharkey was a small-time drug dealer who was not part of a larger syndicate, but police prosecutor Sergeant Andy Bobin said all drug dealing offences were serious.
“Your honour knows my stance on drugs,” Sergeant Bobin told magistrate Terry Lucas.
Sergeant Bobin said Sharkey was doing up to 70 drug deals per month and if the drug that was sold was anything stronger than marijuana there would be no question over whether Sharkey would go to jail.
“It is cannabis but all drugs are a poison to the community ... I ask your honour to consider a full-time custodial sentence,” he said.
The total amount of cannabis seized in the house was about 80 grams, worth about $2400 and police found nearly $2000 in cash in the home.
Mr Lucas said he had to take into account Sharkey’s early guilty plea and therefore, Sharkey was entitled to a discount on the sentence.
“My superiors tell me you’ve got to go to jail,” he said.
Sharkey was sentenced to 18 months in jail, fully suspended which means he would be locked behind bars if he committed any crime in the next 18 months.
He was fined $3500 for drug possession and supply as well as hinder police and possession of goods believed to be stolen.
Police found about $5000 worth of power tools in his back shed which Sharkey said he received in exchange for drugs.