30,000 texts unravel dealer’s business
A CHARTERS Towers man's drug trafficking business was undone after police found more than 30,000 text messages relating to his crimes.
Phillip John Haskins, 50, was sentenced in the Townsville Supreme Court on January 24 after pleading guilty to trafficking dangerous drugs and other drug related offences.
Crown Prosecutor Shannon Sutherland said Haskins predominantly sold methamphetamine but also some cannabis.
"This offending was revealed by over 30,000 text messages across two mobile phones seized by police during two separate search warrants," Ms Sutherland said.
The first occurred at Haskins's house on November 2, 2016 and later on April 2017.
"The defendant continued to sell drugs despite being arrested on the two occasions," Ms Sutherland said.
Defence barrister Harvey Walters told the court Haskins was driven to drug use after the breakdown of his marriage, the death of a close friend and employer, and the subsequent loss of his job.
"He said he was then in a position he was unemployed, he was single, he was lonely, he was depressed and when he was in a social position … somebody offered him some methamphetamine," Mr Walters said.
"He'd ever only socially used cannabis. He took this (methamphetamine) it made him feel better and before he knew it he was addicted, and then he got brought in to this whole sorry state of affairs."
Mr Walters said the time in custody had enabled his client to get clean, and regain his health. Haskins had already served 513 days in custody.
"You as a mature man, and a father, grandfather, would have some appreciation for the seriousness," Justice David North said.
"You're involved in selling dangerous drugs over a lengthy period.
"You persisted in your activities not withstanding that you knew that you came to the attention of the police."
Haskins was sentenced to five years' jail and with time already served was eligible for parole immediately.