Mt Warrigal drug 'supplier' gets free jail pass

A Mount Warrigal man caught with $1700 and a cache of drugs in his home has escaped a full-time jail sentence.

Police investigating illegal drug activity in Wollongong's southern suburbs raided Michael Watling's home on December 19, 2012. They uncovered methylamphetamine, ecstasy, cannabis and cocaine, along with other items associated with drug supply, including resealable plastic bags and measuring scales.

Wollongong District Court was told that when police arrived, Watling said to them: "I know why you're here and what you're looking for, I will show you."

He then took officers to his bedroom, where the drugs were found.

Watling, 29, told police the drugs were for personal use, and the larger quantities, including 18.86 grams of ice and 3.62 grams of ecstasy, were for "stocking up" for the Christmas period.

However, presiding judge Paul Conlon dismissed the explanation, saying the presence of the $1700, as well as a "ledger" in the room outlining various drugs and their dollar amounts, satisfied him that Watling was a supplier as well as a user.

Watling spent three months in custody after being refused bail when initially arrested, and was stabbed by another inmate.

He was later released on conditional bail and ordered to stand trial in February, but pleaded guilty on the morning it was to begin.

The court heard Watling had undergone rehabilitation since regaining his liberty and had ceased using drugs.

In agreeing to suspend the two-year prison sentence, Judge Conlon took into account the time Watling had already spent in custody on the charge, and his ongoing efforts to address his drug addiction.

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