Sportsman turned drug trafficker jailed

A ONCE talented sportsman who represented Ipswich in a number of codes will have the next three years behind bars to think about where it all went wrong after being convicted over drug trafficking offences.

Corey James Harnden, 22, pleaded guilty on Tuesday in the Brisbane Supreme Court to trafficking methamphetamine over a seven-week period between February 25 and April 11, 2013.

Justice Martin Daubney in sentencing Harnden said the Queensland judiciary would come down extremely hard on people involved in the sale, distribution and trafficking of meth.

"This is a case of where a person was selling drugs to make a profit, not to feed their own habit," he said.

"The sale of meth is a scourge on our community; it is wreaking lives, destroying families and killing people."

Crown prosecutor Mel Wilson told the court that when police pulled over Harnden's car on April 10, 2013, they discovered a plethora of items associated with drug trafficking.

She said the items included drugs, electronic scales, clip seal bags, drug paraphernalia and mobile phones.

"During the trafficking period he regularly sent out bulk text messages saying he was 'on' and even boasted about how good his product was," she said.

"Investigations revealed there were 29 sales to 18 different people."

Ms Wilson said Harnden committed further drug offences while on bail and was sentenced in the Ipswich Magistrates Court last February to 18 months probation.

Defence barrister Frank Martin said Harnden had the full support of his family, including from his older brother who is a police officer.

He said Harnden had taken significant steps since his arrest to rehabilitate himself and free himself from a drug addiction.

"He was initially charged with possession but that was upgraded to trafficking last year," he said.

"He offered to help police identify the supplier of the meth, but for some reason the police did not take him up on the offer."

Justice Daubney sentenced Harnden to three years behind bars but ordered he be released on parole after serving 12 months of the sentence.

"I accept and acknowledge you have taken significant steps since your arrest to rehabilitate yourself from a drug addiction," he said.

"But at the end of the day you are drug trafficker . . . because that is what you pleaded guilty to being."


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