WA’s meth crisis in the spotlight after state wins appeal of drug lord’s ‘soft’ sentence

WA's meth crisis in the spotlight after state wins appeal of drug lord's 'soft' sentence

Sentencing laws for methamphetamine dealers have been labelled “insufficient” by WA’s new attorney general after state prosecutors this week successfully appealed a four-and-a-half year sentence handed down to a drug baron in mid-2016.The sentencing judge, in his original remarks, indicated he believed the court’s approach to drug offences was “softening” – contradicting the state government’s hard line on fighting WA’s ice crisis. 
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A WA drug lord has had his ‘soft’ sentence thrown out on appeal as the state promises to introduce harsher penalties for meth dealers. Photo: Supplied Jacksen Nillson’s Geraldton house and storage unit was raided in 2015 after police intercepted an envelope containing 129 grams of methamphetamine destined for a PO Box registered in his name.The 24-year-old later pleaded guilty to possessing 377 grams – or around $250,000 worth of methamphetamine, other drugs including MDMA and cannabis and $23,635 in cash.
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In his sentencing remarks, Justice Phillip McCann said Nillson, who had become “overwhelmed with greed”, was an important player in the Geraldton drug business and operated a “very organised, large-scale polysubstance drug dealing operation”.He sentenced him in the Perth District Court to four years and six months behind bars for the ten charges he pleaded guilty to – six of which carried a maximum penalty of 25 years in jail.

With parole, it meant he could have been released after serving two years and three months in prison.State prosecutors appealed the sentence, alleging it was “so inadequate as to manifest error” and that it failed to reflect the overall criminality of Nillson’s offences.The WA Court of Appeal agreed, setting aside the original sentence on Tuesday and ordering Nillson be resentenced.It found Justice McCann had sentenced Nillson on the basis of what he thought was a ‘softening’ approach to offences of this nature, based on three other cases he referenced.”In our view, having regard to all of the circumstances of the case, including the respondent’s personal circumstances and al…