Cocaine dealer had 'extremely large' haul worth millions
A JUDGE has told the defence lawyer of a drug supplier his argument needs "tweaking" after the facts of the case were finally agreed upon by both parties.
Scott Christopher Pritchard, 37, of Bogangar, was arraigned before Lismore District Court by video link on Thursday.
Pritchard confirmed his earlier guilty plea to one count of supplying a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug.
The court heard that charge related to the supply of 12.4kg of cocaine at Cudgera Creek on the Tweed Coast on April 3, 2019.
Pritchard had been driving a vehicle containing the drugs.
The court heard the defence and the Department of Public Prosecutions had only finalised the agreed facts on Thursday morning ahead of Pritchard's sentencing.
Judge Jeffery McLennan urged Pritchard's legal team to re-evaluate their argument, after previously stating their client "was a courier in the simplest terms".
"That may be overstating things somewhat," Judge McLennan said.
It is understood the newly agreed facts relate to Pritchard's direct involvement in the planning of where he would collect the drugs in Wardell.
"(It was an) extremely large amount of cocaine worth millions of dollars which was cunningly transported in a vehicle with a compartment obviously designed for what your client was doing," Judge McLennan said.
"I know the area pretty well … I know the area where this transaction took place.
"The proposition was that it wasn't an isolated area … is one you would have extreme difficulties explaining that.
"You don't exchange millions of dollars of cocaine in a place that isn't an isolated area."
The court heard Pritchard had been using approximately 6g of cocaine a day for almost a year, or roughly 2kg of cocaine in total.
He had started using drugs to self-medicate an undiagnosed ADHD condition, the court heard.
Judge McLennan said his drug use habit would be a "financial incentive" to supply drugs but could see Pritchard's prospects of rehabilitation were significant.
"He's establishing himself as a model prisoner … and maintains the support of friends and community," he said.
"I accept there is real remorse, those who love him speak highly of him.
"I think he has very good prospects of rehabilitation.
"I would be astonished having understood the damage he has done and those around him that he would ever do something so stupid and criminally stupid again."
Judge McLennan will hand down his judgment on December 11 in Lismore District Court, unless an earlier date becomes available.