Drug-dealing grandad’s desperate act to save dying wife
PROPPED up by his walking stick, a grandfather pleaded guilty to "staggering" drug crimes he committed to support his cancer-riddled wife and himself after her death.
Alexandra Headland man Thomas Ivor Jones, 86, initially bought a large amount of marijuana in a failed attempt to produce cannabis oil to ease his wife's pain during her terminal battle.
Crown prosecutor Alex Stark told Maroochydore District Court Jones "stumbled" into street-level dealing and trafficked the marijuana to instead buy oil and recoup his costs.
Mr Stark said when police raided Jones's home October 2017 they found 132g of marijuana leaf, seeds and oil, 1.3g of speed, morphine and 660 tablets of medication containing pseudoephedrine; a key ingredient in methamphetamine.
Defence barrister Lily Brisick said her client made a modest drug-sale profit of up to $70 a week.
Jones was also charged for possessing four unusable rifles and ammunition, purchased in the 1960s.
Judge Glen Cash said it was "staggering" a man of Jones's age with limited criminal history would become a drug dealer.
Jones was last convicted for drink driving in Queensland 50 years ago and was fined in pounds and shillings.
Ms Brisick said Jones, a cancer survivor, worked as a minibus driver after he was charged, but recently quit due to ongoing health concerns.
He now lives at a caravan park.
Judge Cash warned Jones this was his one chance to stay out of jail, and sentenced him to two years' jail, suspended for three years.
Instructing solicitor Ben Rynderman told media Jones's case was like nothing he had seen before, and his client had learned his lesson.
Mr Rynderman said Jones became his wife's full-time carer while she was sick, and the proceeds from his trafficking was essentially reinvested into his wife's health.
"(Jones is) certainly pleased that he's not required to serve actual custody, at that, a sentence of actual custody is something that would have been queried very closely," Mr Rynderman said.