25 November 2021

Cocaine trafficker faced 'public shaming' after selling drugs to mates

| Albert McKnight
Josh Anthony Wood

Josh Anthony Wood, 29, leaves court after being sentenced to an intensive corrections order. Photo: Albert McKnight

A cocaine trafficker who sold drugs to his friends had to face a “public shaming” when details of his crimes became known to his family.

Although Josh Anthony Wood, 29, faced 10 years in jail, he was told he had spent enough time behind bars in the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday (24 November) and was allowed to serve his sentence in the community.

When police raided his Gilmore home in May 2021 they found about 52 grams of cocaine in the kitchen cupboard, which is over eight times the trafficable amount.

Magistrate Glenn Theakston said they also saw a homemade cocaine press and digital scales, as well as mobile phones containing photos and videos that showed Wood had been selling drugs to others.

According to agreed court documents, photos on Wood’s phone include ones showing lines of white powder on the hood of a black vehicle, a remote-controlled drone fitted with a clip seal bag containing white powder in Wood’s backyard, and multiple people consuming lines of white powder from a licence plate labelled ‘RACKTBL’ in the kitchen of his home.

Wood told the author of a pre-sentence report he was using the drugs himself and selling them to his friends, admitting he had made a profit from it.

Jacob Robertson from JDR Law said his client had spent seven days in custody, which was not an insignificant period of time for someone who had only been before the courts once before, many years ago.

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Prosecutor Elizabeth Wren said Wood had “some relatively high-level connections” in the area of drugs.

She also said it was difficult to see how selling cocaine to his friends made it less serious than if he had been selling it to people in the community.

Jacob Robertson and Josh Anthony Wood

Jacob Robertson (left) of JDR Law leaves court with his client Josh Anthony Wood after he was sentenced on Wednesday. Photo: Albert McKnight.

Magistrate Theakston said Wood was akin to a street dealer and accepted he was motivated not solely to make money but to provide drugs for himself and his friends.

He said the qualified carpenter had lost his job after being charged with this crime, although he was now working as a site foreman, and character references had expressed their shock at his actions.

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Magistrate Theakston said the fact he lost his job and had to face both his and his partner’s families was a “type of public shaming” that was significant because he had previously had a good reputation.

Wood pleaded guilty to a charge of trafficking cocaine and was sentenced to 16 months’ jail to be served via an intensive corrections order in the community.

Magistrate Theakston said some may see this as “somewhat lenient”, but warned Wood that he would “almost certainly” be given a custodial sentence if he came back before the courts for similar offending.

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