Man sold dad’s pain killers to fund booze, drugs and pokies

A HERVEY Bay man who used the money he made from selling his foster father's painkillers to fund his lifestyle of drugs, booze and gambling has had his court convictions upheld.

Three Brisbane Court of Appeal judges on Tuesday rejected Robert John Dennis Wells's request to have his convictions for trafficking and supplying oxycodone overturned.

Wells's legal counsel claimed the District Court jury's verdict was unreasonable because of Wells's "limited intellectual capacity".

The appeal also relied on evidence given by the appellant in a police interview about the quantity of drugs sold that was submitted to be implausible.

The court heard the 22-year-old each week stole the 40mg Oxycontin (oxycodone) tablets from his father's medicine supply between August, 2012 and June, 2013.

Wells sold each tablet for at least $25-$35.

During a February, 2014, police interview he admitted to selling boxes of 28 tablets for "three, four hundred dollars a box".

"The appellant told police if he had seven to 14 pills to sell he could make anywhere between $200 to $300 in a day and then that would all be blown on drugs and alcohol," the Court of Appeal judgment said.

"He also would gamble the proceeds on the pokies."

Appeal judge Peter Applegarth said the statements made by Wells during the police interviews were "detailed, internally consistent and not contradicted by other evidence".

"They were not implausible," he said.

"The recording showed that the statements were made by someone who understood the questions he was being asked and who was able to answer them coherently."

Justice Applegarth said Wells's intellectual ability did not render his answers unreliable and the Crown's case did not depend solely on proof he sold 28 tablets in a box on any occasion.

"It was sufficient for the prosecution to prove that the appellant routinely sold much smaller quantities each week over a period of months," he said.

"At best for the appellant, his statement about having sold three or four boxes was ambiguous and possibly unreliable.

"Any unreliability in his recollection about selling boxes and the number of times he did so did not necessarily render unreliable other parts of the interview in which the appellant admitted selling oxycodone tablets on a regular basis."


Topics:  addiction court crime hervey bay

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