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R v Lightfoot [2023] NSWDC 132

The offender was sentenced following pleas of guilty to 2 counts of trafficking a marketable quantity of a controlled drug contrary to section 302.3(1) Commonwealth Criminal Code (Cth). Offending related to 1.087 kilograms of pure cocaine. An additional drug trafficking offence was taken into account under s 16BA. Offender also sentenced for state drug offences.

Nature and Circumstances: Offender’s role was that of a user/dealer who took direction from others higher up in the organisation. There was some planning involved in the offences. A hidden compartment was used to avoid detection. Offending was not isolated and took place over a period of months. In both cases the pure weight of the cocaine 557.48 grams and 529.31 grams was a bit over twice the marketable quantity for cocaine of 250 grams. Offender was not motivated by greed. They committed the offences to finance their addiction, which partly arose as a result of being prescribed opioid pain killers to deal with chronic pain from injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents. Offender’s moral culpability for the offences is reduced.

Remorse: Offender has expressed remorse to their family and friends, to the psychologists and to the Court. They demonstrate exceptional insight into the circumstances that led to their offending conduct and the impact that their actions have had on their family and the community. Offender’s pleas of guilty also indicate remorse.

Antecedents: Offender had a deprived upbringing in which their emotional needs were neglected and they were exposed to drug use and abandonment. Offender suffered from ADHD which was poorly managed. Their condition made them susceptible to impulsivity and they developed maladaptive coping strategies that prevailed when they were faced with the pressure of difficult life circumstances.

Rehabilitation: Offender has excellent prospects of rehabilitation. They have strong family and community support and the physical condition that caused their pain and resulting drug addiction has been successfully treated through surgery. Offender has continued in employment and has a stable family life that will encourage them to avoid committing further offences. Offender has remained abstinent from illicit drugs and engaged in psychological counselling to give them coping strategies to avoid relapse.

Offender sentenced to 4 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 2 years for the federal offences.
The CSD acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as First Australians and recognises their culture, history, diversity and their deep connection to the land. We acknowledge that we are on the land of the traditional owners and pay respects to Elders past and present.

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