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Meth dealer turns to engineering

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 12:54 30/05/2014

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An Aranui man has admitted six charges of dealing methamphetamine, but will allowed to finish an engineering course before the convitions are entered on his record.

Johnny Cox, 26, unemployed, has been in custody since his arrest in Dunedin last June.

He pleaded guilty at a pre-trial session before Judge Paul Kellar in the Christchurch District Court today, after the Crown had agreed to reduce the original 64 charges.

He admitted four charges of supplying methamphetamine in Christchurch in April and May last year, as well as a representative charge that involves offering to supply the drug in the period from March to June, and possession of the drug for supply at the time of his arrest.

Crown prosecutor Pip Currie said: "From an analysis of the defendant's communications and what was found at his arrest, about 40g were supplied, or offered for supply between March and June 2013. Included in this figure is the 4g of methamphetamine found in Cox's possession on June 9, in Dunedin."

Defence counsel Tony Garrett said Cox would plead guilty but asked that the convictions not be entered on his record yet, because that would prevent him finishing an engineering course that he has been doing in prison.

"He has used his time on remand very productively," he said.

Christchurch District Court Judge Paul Kellar agreed to the delay. "Given the importance of the course to your rehabilitation, I won't enter convictions," he told Cox.

He remanded Cox in custody for sentencing on July 30, and called for a pre-sentence report that will cover his suitability for sentences of home or community detention.

But he warned that there was no promise of a community-based sentence.

"The quantity of methamphetamine involved and its value may well preclude that," the judge said.

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