An aspiring Illawarra rapper currently behind bars on drug supply charges has given a rare glimpse into life in prison for inmates with COVID-19.
Adrian Cristallo, who also goes by the stage name 'Trippplegage', fronted Wollongong District Court on Friday for sentencing after he pleaded guilty to supplying 67 grams of methylamphetamine between September 2020 and January 2021.
The court heard Cristallo was a runner for an upline supplier but largely dealt drugs to fund his own, 20-year habit.
Cristallo was arrested in March and refused bail. He told the court he contracted COVID-19 while behind bars.
He said he was sick for only about a week, but revealed the diagnosis came with severe disadvantages.
"They locked me in my cell for a month and only gave me two Panadol a day," he said.
"I couldn't heat up my food so I had to eat cold schnitzels and cold noodles."
Cristallo also revealed he had taken drastic measures before his arrest to try and kick his habit, including travelling to Batemans Bay and "sleeping on a bench for three days" to detox.
"My dad had died and I promised him I'd get off the drugs," Cristallo told the court.
"I detoxed on a bench in Batemans Bay for three days, then slept under a bridge for another three days."
He said he'd done several courses while on remand, which had taught him to value life.
"I've learned you don't need drugs to be happy, you need to find positive things in your life to make you happy," he said, revealing he'd been clean and sober since before his arrest.
"I'm kind of happy I came to jail to be honest, it's kept me off the drugs."
Cristallo told the court he planned on living with his sister in Campbelltown when released from custody.
Judge Andrew Haesler sentenced Cristallo to 22 months jail, with a non-parole period of 11 months. He will be parole in February.
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