A DISABILITY pensioner who used methamphetamines as "a form of currency" when he ran out of money, has been sentenced to three years in jail.
Thias David Johnson, 30, pleaded guilty in Brisbane Supreme Court this week to trafficking and supplying dangerous drugs.
A police search of the Ipswich father's home and phone revealed he was supplying methamphetamines and marijuana to a regular customer base.
The deals, which took place over three months, earned him about $2000 in cash but the court heard the methamphetamines were predominantly traded for lifts into town to get groceries or in return for property.
Crown Prosecutor Melissa Wilson said Johnson used the drugs as a "form of currency" and to support his own habit.
Ms Wilson said while Johnson was a "low-level street dealer", he dealt the drugs on an almost daily basis and asked that the sentence reflect the social impact of such a significant amount of methamphetamine entering the community.
Defence barrister David Jones said his client had a miserable upbringing, born to heroin-addicted parents and forced to flee Tasmania with his mother as a teenager, leaving his violent father behind.
Mr Jones said after moving to Queensland, Johnson, who was just 14 at the time, never went to school again.
He said his client started using marijuana and eventually became addicted to pain medication which was prescribed for an injury.
By 24, Mr Jones said, his client had turned to methamphetamines and when he couldn't feed his addiction on Centrelink payments or find work, made the poor decision to "start up his own business".
Describing the drug operation as "unsophisticated", Mr Jones insisted the quality of the drug was "quite poor" and Mr Johnson had admitted to regularly using "dirty bags" which were largely filled with a cutting agent rather than the actual drug.
"He didn't make a lot of money," Mr Jones said
"He was simply making the bare minimum so he could continue to feed habit."
Justice Glenn Martin accepted Johnson's offending was motivated by his own addiction rather than greed but said he had still supplied methamphetamine to 14 customers, 47 times over 64 days.
Johnson was sentenced to a total of three years in jail.
A parole release date was set for January 18 next year.
- ARM NEWSDESK
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