25 May 2022

Concreter who had $2000-a-week cocaine habit avoids jail for drugs found in his 'humble domain'

| Albert McKnight
Man outside court

Jason Gary Pahl, 24, was sentenced to an intensive corrections order. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A successful concreter who used to spend about $2000 a week on cocaine has avoided any time behind bars for being busted with drugs in his home.

Police raided Jason Gary Pahl’s home in Ngunnawal in November 2020, finding what the judge said was a “substantial” amount of cocaine, including in a bedroom which he described to officers as his “humble domain”.

They also found scales, over $2000 cash and an unlocked and open gun safe in his garage, which contained a .222 rifle, a double-barrelled shotgun and ammunition.

While he was licenced to keep the guns, he was not allowed to store them in an unlocked container.

Pahl said everything that was found had nothing to do with his partner or son, saying, “It’s just me, not them”.

Police found about 352 grams of cocaine, nearly 60 times the trafficable amount, being six grams.

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He spent no time in custody before being sentenced on Monday (23 May), when ACT Supreme Court Justice David Mossop fined him $25,000 and ordered him to serve a 19-month intensive corrections order (ICO) in the community.

He said Pahl, who started his own successful concreting business in 2021, was a user-dealer who sold for financial gain and to support his own habit.

Justice Mossop said he hadn’t interacted with his antisocial peers since being arrested, and it was likely these associations were a factor in his offending.

Pahl’s mother gave a statement to the court saying the charges were “cruel and a blessing” because they had made him reflect on the direction his life was going, while his father said he’d seen his son transform his life.

READ ALSO Drug trafficker avoids jail time, judge imposes ‘much harder’ sentence

The 24-year-old wrote that he was “lost and misguided” at the time of offending.

“He impressed me as a young man who regrets the direction that he was going in,” Justice Mossop said of his oral evidence.

Due to the progress he made towards his rehabilitation, the justice said it was appropriate to grant the ICO along with the fines and 230 hours of community service.

Pahl had pleaded guilty to a charge of trafficking cocaine and several involving failing to store firearms and ammunition in a locked container.

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