A Launceston man who avoided an 18 month jail term when he received a drug treatment order was caught eight months later getting off the Spirit of Tasmania with $50,000 worth of the drug ice in his underpants.
Robert Craig Williams 38 pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court in Launceston to trafficking in methylamphetamine at Devonport on October 9 2022.
A drug treatment order enables an offender to avoid jail as long as he complies with conditions of the order, including not leaving Tasmania, stays off drugs and commits no offences.
Crown prosecutor Matt Hills said police were screening passengers at the Devonport terminal about 8.20am when they recognised Williams who had two active arrest warrants.
He said Williams attempted to continue walking until he was forcibly restrained with handcuffs.
Police dog Fang gave a positive indication for drugs and a package containing 50grams of methylamphetamine was found.
He told police that he had flown to Melbourne the day before to try to get $2000-3000 cash from an associate.
He said the ice was given to him.
"The State does not accept this and say that he travelled for the purpose of obtaining methylamphetamine," Mr Hills said.
Examination of Williams' phone found that he had organised drug sales for when he returned.
Mr Hills said the guilty plea came because of the strength of the Crown case and the inevitability of being found guilty rather than remorse.
Mr Hills said Williams was sentenced to a drug treatment order by Justice Robert Pearce on February 8 2022 after he pleaded guilty to trafficking in a controlled substance and possession of methylamphetamine, cannabis and pseudoephedrine.
Justice Pearce said in the February 2022 sentencing that Williams was a "very high risk of reoffending" after 20 years of drug use and criminality including dishonesty, firearms and drug offences in 2013, for aggravated burglary and firearm offences in 2016, and more recently for family violence, dishonesty, bail and driving charges.
"Unless something is done to address the factors which lead to your offending you are destined to spend much of the rest of your life in prison," he said.
"You should understand, that it will be challenging and demanding. It will be up to you, with the support you will be given, to make the most of the opportunity being given to you."
One of the conditions of the order was that he not associate with his brothers Stephen James Williams and Marcus John Williams.
Just two weeks later on February 27 he was arrested and remanded in custody for family violence offences.
He was granted bail by Magistrate Sharon Cure on March 18, 2022.
Within a week the family violence allegations were aired in the Launceston Magistrates Court.
In April 2022 Tasmania Police made their first application for the drug treatment order to be cancelled.
It was not until March, 2023 that Williams had the drug treatment order cancelled by magistrate Cure after an application from the court mandated diversion program.
He was ordered to serve sixteen months jail along with a further 12 months for additional offences.
He was due for release in June 2024, Mr Hills said.
Defence lawyer Mark Doyle said Williams had a longstanding drug addiction issues and a life of dysfunction.
In sentencing on December 8 Justice Pearce said that Williams had begun committing offences almost immediately after being admitted to the order.
He said that Williams was entitled to little lenience and the repeat offending showed he had little remorse.
Justice Pearce imposed an 18 month sentence but made six months concurrent with his present sentence meaning he would be in jail until June 2025.
Last year Justice Pearce ruled that Ann Louise Wooders forfeit to the state $7000 of a total $10,000 bail recognizance that she had provided on behalf of Mr Williams in 2020.
In 2013 a bystander was injured in the Launceston CBD when a drug rival fired a shot at Williams which ricocheted off a wall and hit a man in the ankle.