Parole granted at first hearing

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 09:00 14/06/2014

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A Palmerston North man who used the infamous Silk Road website to import drugs into New Zealand has lived up to a judge's expectations by being released on parole after his first hearing.

Dylan Terry Richardson, 24, was sentenced to two years and four months' jail late last year after pleading guilty to importing $15,000 of methamphetamine and possessing the drug for supply.

He was found out after Customs intercepted a package in August, addressed to a post office box in his name, containing 15 grams of methamphetamine.

A search of Richardson's house the next month unearthed zip-lock bags, $440 cash, a substance used to cut methamphetamine and another 1.1g of the class A drug.

Police found Richardson had used the Silk Road website to import the drug.

Silk Road was an encrypted website, shut down by the FBI in October, where users would buy and sell illegal goods with the bitcoin digital currency.

At the sentencing, Judge Gerard Lynch said Richardson's dedication to rehabilitation and remorse meant he had a good chance of getting out on parole after his first meeting with the board.

"You must do everything you can during this sentence to put yourself in the best position for your first meeting with the parole board."

At his first meeting with the board, he proved the judge right.

Richardson will be released on parole on June 23, according to the board's decision released to the Manawatu Standard this week.

In its decision, the board said Richardson had a "harmful pattern of abuse" of drugs and alcohol, and his drug use had increased after family difficulties arose.

At his sentencing, defence lawyer Steve Winter said Richardson's offending took place during a traumatic time in his life.

Richardson's sister - who had cystic fibrosis - had just died, and his father had a stroke three days after the funeral.

The parole board report said Richardson was at low risk of reoffending if he stayed off drugs.

Richardson's behaviour behind bars had been "exemplary", and he had been honest about how wrong his offending was.

"Mr Richardson has, in our view, done everything possible to present well to us," the report said.

"We are not persuaded that further rehabilitative prison-based treatment is required for Mr Richardson."

Richardson will be subject to standard release conditions for 18 months, and must also not consume illegal drugs or alcohol and cannot leave his address between 10pm and 6am without the approval of a probation officer.

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- Manawatu Standard

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