An Illawarra man has avoided jail on drug supply charges after a judge agreed to suspend his prison sentence.
Benjamin John Simpson pleaded guilty to three charges stemming from allegations he peddled ecstasy in early March this year and was found with drugs in his possession while at a music festival last November.
Wollongong District Court judge Paul Conlon yesterday sentenced Simpson to 12 months’ jail, but agreed to suspend the prison term on the back of Simpson’s demonstrated remorse, his good rehabilitation prospects, and the relatively small amount of drugs involved.
The court heard Simpson was stopped by police on Lake Avenue at Cringila for a random breath test on March 8.
While the test returned a negative reading, police believed Simpson may have been in the area to buy drugs, and decided to search him.
Police found him with a plastic, sandwich-style clear bag containing 21 pills, which were later confirmed to be MDMA.
Arresting officers seized Simpson’s mobile phone at the time.
In it they uncovered several text message exchanges in which Simpson agreed to sell drugs to customers.
Simpson’s lawyer, Robert Steward, on Friday said his client was a young man of prior good character, who had developed problems with illicit substances.
However, he said Simpson was remorseful for his actions and had told a psychologist he’d been ‘‘stupid’’ and that he ‘‘wished he hadn’t done it’’.
Judge Conlon ordered Simpson to abide by any treatment programs or directions assigned to him by Probation and Parole during his suspended sentence.