Tasmanian Court of Criminal Appeal reduces convicted ice, morphine trafficker's sentence

Supreme Court
Supreme Court

A convicted drug trafficker could walk free from prison within a few months after winning an appeal to reduce his sentence.

Matthew John Upston was jailed in November after pleading guilty to trafficking ice and morphine in 2013.

During a police raid at Upston’s Waverley home, police found $24,600 worth of ice, $14,200 worth of morphine, a replica revolver, a knife, nunchucks, ammunition, 12 CCTV cameras suspected to have been stolen and a rubbish bin filled with $2500 cash.

The 31 year old had previously been convicted of drug-related offences, but his defence lawyer Mark Doyle argued the 2013 matter had come before the court more than four years after Upston was charged.

During sentencing submissions in October last year, Mr Doyle described his client as someone who had since turned his life around.

He said Upston was addicted to ice, but since receiving a suspended sentence in 2016, he had abstained from drugs.

When sentencing Upston in November, Acting Justice Pierre Slicer said he accepted the defendant had made changes to his lifestyle, but jailed him for three years, backdated to October 23, 2017.

Upston was not eligible for parole until he served at least two years.

The sentence was appealed by Upston and on Monday, that appeal was upheld by the Court of Criminal Appeal in Hobart.

Justice Robert Pearce, Acting Justice David Porter and Justice Gregory Geason agreed to set aside Upston’s original sentence.

They more than halved his sentence and jailed him for 15 months from January 9, 2018, nine months of which was suspended.