Meth dealer has sentence increased

Last updated 05:00 21/12/2012

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A convicted drug dealer and manufacturer has had his sentence increased by more than four years.

Max John Beckham was found guilty on 24 of 57 drug and money laundering charges at a trial in February 2011.

The jury accepted he had been producing and selling large quantities of methamphetamine over at least 18 months, as well as dealing in cocaine, MDMA and cannabis.

Beckham was arrested in late 2008 and was found with four ounces of methamphetamine in his vehicle, nine ounces near the driveway of his home and more than $500,000 in cash.

Intercepted communications recorded transactions involving more than 2kg of the drug.

In August last year he was jailed for 13 and-a-half years, with a minimum non-parole period of seven years.

He subsequently took his case to the Court of Appeal arguing his conviction should be quashed because police had illegally listened to phone conversations between him and his lawyer.

But Justices Stevens, Venning and Dobson said any evidence showing that was not enough to cancel or reduce Beckham's sentence.

"The threshold for an abuse of process is high... a stay of proceedings is a rare step that courts should take only with great caution," they said in the lengthy judgement.

As a result of another Court of Appeal judgement, the details of which are suppressed, the Solicitor-General appealed Beckham's sentence and successfully had it increased.

He was resentenced to 18 years jail and will serve a minimum of half of that.

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- Auckland Now

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