District court Judge Jeffery McLennan says courts workload dominated by ice

A DISTRICT court judge says the court system is inundated with ice supply cases or crimes stemming from take-up of the dangerous drug. 

Judge Jeffery McLennan will take a permanent position in the New England after July, sitting permanently in both Armidale and Tamworth courts.

“So much of the court workload at the moment is … is currently driven by the drug ice,” he told Tamworth District Court.

“The court’s focus is to deter its use and its supply.”

He said no matter where he went in the state, the drug was devastating every community.

“[Ice] has destructive consequences in every community which is sold,” Judge McLennan said.

”It is a drug that grips the user quickly and viciously.”

He said, in his experience, the addiction is situational, and often the result of an emotional kind, like a relationship breakdown.

Judge McLennan said in sentencing offenders, the court needed to not only take into account the weight of the drug, but the sophistication of the supply set-up.

He said the issue of price and purity had to be weighed in the sentencing exercise because methamphetamine seized with a high purity level could be cut down by the dealer to make a greater number of street deals.

He made the comments at a sentencing hearing for a man convicted of supplying an amount of ice that could have been cut down to make 3,000 street deals.

“That's a lot of very damaged people in the community of Tamworth,” he said.

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