Trauma after kidnapping linked to teen's drug dealing

Though still only young, the Gympie dealer had been using drugs for years.
Though still only young, the Gympie dealer had been using drugs for years. monkeybusinessimages

A KIDNAPPING victim who pleaded guilty to drug dealing has a shot at redemption after a judge said jail time would mean "a life thrown away.”

Gympie man Alex Christopher Catton, now 20, was busted after cops pulled his car over last year.

On investigating his mobile phone, police found the Pie Creek man had been selling MDMA and marijuana.

Brisbane Supreme Court heard Catton developed post-traumatic stress disorder after a drug dealer kidnapped him in 2014.

"It's all quite sad really,” defence counsel Jason Todman told Justice Sue Brown at Catton's sentencing on Monday.

Mr Todman said his client took the "earliest opportunity” to plead guilty.

But the young man's drug use started years before that.

Mr Todman said Catton was "first exposed to cannabis” at age 12.

"Unfortunately that graduated to methylamphetamine at 14 and ecstasy and ice at 16.”

Justice Brown said prison was an option for Catton.

She said his deals contributed to the social problem drugs presented, even though he only trafficked drugs for a short time.

"It's all a part of a cycle and you're contributing to that cycle...”

The court heard the biggest sale was of twelve MDMA pills for $240.

He was also charged with possessing a small amount of ice while on bail.

Catton had about 10 regular marijuana customers and Justice Brown said the young man made some attempts to hide his tracks.

She said Catton asked customers to transfer money partially into his girlfriend's account, and not just his.

But the court heard Catton had been working to rehabilitate himself and had a supportive family.

Justice Brown sentenced Catton to three years jail but ordered his immediate release on parole.

"Sentencing somebody as young as you to [prison] has serious consequences. You can imagine what that might be like.”

She said Catton was still far from rehabilitated and it was up to him to make ensure he didn't slip up on parole.

The marijuana trafficking happened between October 20 and November 18 last year.

Catton also pleaded guilty to trafficking MDMA between November 6 and 19 last year.

Justice Brown said profits were used largely to fund a drug habit Catton had.

$620 in cash was forfeited, as was Catton's phone.


Topics:  drug dealing drugs ecstasy forfeiture gympie gympie police mdma

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