Pot-dealing pensioner jailed

A 63-YEAR-OLD drug dealer has been removed from the scene over Christmas after scoring four weeks behind bars for an enterprise intended to supplement his pension.

Raymond Ensby pleaded guilty in the Lismore Local Court to supplying cannabis between May 2008 and May 2009; possession of a prohibited drug; possession of a bong; and possession of one gram of amphetamine.

When police raided the pensioner’s small flat in Casino on May 13 this year, Ensby was seated at a table putting amounts of cannabis into small resealable plastic bags. Beside him was a small set of electronic scales, scissors and 50 unused plastic bags.

Eight small bags of cannabis were found in a metal tin and a search of Ensby found $210 in cash and another $315 in a wallet.

Ensby said most of money was obtained from gambling and ‘a portion’ from the sale of cannabis.

Police stated Ensby had ‘freely admitted’ to weighing and packaging the cannabis for the purpose of selling it to people, with some for his own use. He was found to have 79.8 grams of cannabis.

Ensby admitted selling between one and two ounces of cannabis a week for the previous 12 months to subsidise his pension – an enterprise police said would have made him a profit of about $7800.

A note pad held a list of names with varying amounts listed beside them. Ensby told police it was money owed to him by friends, in addition to money owed him for the sale of cannabis.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Brett Asser said nothing less than a jail sentence was appropriate because Ensby had prior drug convictions.

Magistrate Robyn Denes sentenced Ensby to 15 months’ jail, with a non-parole period of one month, after finding special circumstances including his age, need for rehabilitation, and a number of deaths in his family that had affected him.

The remainder of the sentence was suspended, with Ensby placed on supervised parole.

Ms Denes said the profit was a very rough estimate and defence barrister Peter O’Connor had argued it was not like Ensby had been standing on the streets of Casino selling to everyone.

However, she said by selling from his home Ensby became known as a supplier and people would go to his residence.

Ms Denes said Ensby’s criminal record did not assist him and included a Lismore District Court sentence for a drug offence.

She said she took into account a medical report detailing post-traumatic stress issues and significant losses in his life, including the drowning of two nieces on a family farm, the recent death of a brother, and being involved in car crash where a police officer was killed.

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