Dealer was 'a mobile drug shop'

George Harwood leaving Lismore Courthouse.
George Harwood leaving Lismore Courthouse.

FORMER Byron Bay drug dealer George Harwood was described as running ‘a mobile drug shop’ when he appeared for sentence before a Lismore District Court judge after being caught with a blood-filled syringe.

Harwood, 24, of Corndale but now living in Cairns, was given an 18-month jail sentence – immediately suspended – after pleading guilty on Tuesday to two drug charges: supplying LSD (39 tabs), and supplying ‘Nexus’ (2C-B, a psychedelic drug) at Byron Bay on May 6 last year.

Judge James Black also took into account other drug offences to which Harwood pleaded guilty, including possession of cannabis leaf, a Suboxone tablet and MDMA, and dealing with the proceeds of crime in the amount of $1550.

In Crown facts Harwood was arrested in Byron Bay just before 2pm in the Main Beach car park on May 6 carrying a backpack.

Police saw him holding an uncapped syringe in his hand that contained fresh blood.

The syringe was seized and police found $1550 in Harwood’s wallet, including 29 $50 notes and a $100 note.

Inside the backpack were plastic resealable bags. One held 39 cardboard squares marked with a triangle stamp. Analysis revealed these tabs were LSD.

Three plastic bags held a powder substance later found to be the drug Nexus.

Along with a small amount of cannabis leaf, six pill fragments were analysed to be MDMA.

It was revealed Harwood was using the proceeds to fund his own drug use.

Defence lawyer John Weller successfully argued his client should be spared jail because of the efforts he had made toward self-rehabilitation for his drug problems, including a six-month residential stint at The Buttery.

His efforts included a detoxification program at the Riverlands Drug and Alcohol Centre.

“He has come a substantial way from a year ago in that park in Byron Bay,” Mr Weller said.

“He is going to a psychologist and is getting weekly drug and alcohol counselling.”

The Crown acknowledged his steps at rehabilitation had been ‘impressive’ and agreed that the interests of the community may be better served through rehabilitation (rather than through a custodial sentence).

Judge Black expressed some concern at the lack of an ongoing rehabilitation plan and potential for a relapse, saying he was sure the community would take ‘a very dim view’ of someone travelling about with a variety of drugs available in order to fund his own habit.

“Facts show he was a mobile drug shop,” he said.

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