Personal tragedy saw ice addiction spiral into drug dealing

THE tragic suicide of a young man’s partner saw him turn to ice to “block out the pain”, which escalated to the 25-year-old selling more than 56g of the drug to support his 5g-a-day habit, a court has heard.

South Grafton man Tyson Dean Stoker appeared in Grafton District Court on Wednesday for sentencing after he pleaded guilty to three charges of supplying methylamphetamine of a continued basis, dating from April to July last year.

The court heard that from April 21 to April 30 last year, Stoker sold a total of 10.5g of methylamphetamine, before going on to sell 20.85g of the drug between June 11 and June 28, then 24.9g between July 2 and July 15.

In 2018 NSW Police formed Strike Force Kiowa to investigate an unrelated matter which saw police identify a series of drug suppliers in the Grafton and South Grafton areas.

About 8.30am on August 8 last year, officers from Coffs/Clarence Police District, with assistance from operational support units, conducted four search warrants at homes in Grafton, South Grafton and Halfway Creek and Stoker was arrested.

In court Stoker’s barrister Gemunu Kumarasinhe called his client to give evidence, where he told the court his father died when he was eight, and soon after he lost his uncle and aunty to cancer.

His mother’s new partner then severely abused him during his youth, and he was bullied at school in Maclean for his ADHD, the court heard.

Stoker told the court he is the father of two children, but tragedy had struck again when in January last year his partner and mother of his youngest child took her own life.

The court heard Stoker was prohibited from attending the funeral by the woman’s family, and he has not had any contact with his child since.

“It had a great impact on me. I wasn’t sure how to deal with it and I started taking more drugs until it got out of control and I ended up selling drugs to support my addiction,” Stoker said.

“I was using up to 4g a day. I used the drugs to block out the pain.

“I’m deeply remorseful and I take full responsibility for the impacts my actions have had on the community and the victims and I’ve learnt a massive lesson from this.

“There’s no excuse in the world that can justify the charges. I was not in a good headspace after the death of my partner and I had a drug problem that had got out of hand that I couldn’t afford.”

In cross examination the Crown Prosecutor noted these charges weren’t the first time Stoker had been charged with a drug offence, submitting that he had previously been charged in 2018 for driving with methylamphetamine in his system.

The Crown Prosecutor also asked Stoker if a domestic violence conviction for stalk/intimidate intend fear physical harm against his former partner was the reason he was not welcome by her family at the woman’s funeral.

“I can’t answer that,” Stoker said.

Judge Clive Jeffreys adjourned the matter for final sentencing to next week.

Did this reporting raise any issues for you? For crisis support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or for domestic violence help call 1800 737 732.


Lifeline: 13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467

MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78

beyondblue: 1300 22 46 36

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800


1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732

Australian Childhood Foundation: 1800 176 453

MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78

LifeLine: 13 11 14

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277

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