Ritalin conviction quashed

Last updated 18:06 13/03/2014

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An Otago University student's class B drug conviction for selling Ritalin has been quashed by the Court of Appeal.

Druvi Patrick Rodrigo, of Dunedin, was convicted of supplying Ritalin, a drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), to three of his friends.

Court documents said Ritalin was "sought illicitly for its 'speed-like' effects". It could also help keep students awake to study all night.

Rodrigo was sentenced in April last year to 10 months' home detention and 200 hours' community service.

One of his friends – a fellow Otago University student – was charged with supplying Ritalin in the same investigation, but discharged without conviction.

When Rodrigo heard his friend had escaped conviction, he appealed.

The Court of Appeal said the discrepancy between the sentences arose because, in Rodrigo's original court appearance, his legal counsel advised that discharge without conviction was not possible due to the class of the drug.

However, Rodrigo's friend's discharge without conviction proved this advice was incorrect.

The drug dealing unearthed in the Ritalin investigation was described by the court as "on the lower end of seriousness". It was not a commercial operation.

Rodrigo's application for name suppression for the sake of his family was declined.

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- Fairfax Media

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