Gym junkie became a cocaine courier to repay debt to drug dealer

Albert McKnight 4 August 2021 2
William Howard Mackinder

William Howard Mackinder, 31, leaves the ACT Courts after being sentenced on Wednesday. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A court has heard a gym-lover agreed to transport cocaine to Canberra to help repay his debt to his drug dealer.

On Wednesday (4 August), the ACT Supreme Court was told police caught William Howard Mackinder with $150,000-worth of cocaine last year.

Justice John Burns said on 5 June 2020, the now 31-year-old drove from Canberra to Sydney and collected a package of the drug.

He returned to the ACT and was stopped by police, who found the cocaine weighed about half a kilogram.

Justice Burns said Mackinder’s role in the operation was simply that of a courier.

He said the regular gym-goer used cocaine himself and had accrued a “substantial” debt to his supplier.


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He hoped to cancel part of that debt by transporting the drugs to Canberra.

Justice Burns said the cocaine was worth $150,000 and told him that while there was no evidence he knew what the quantity of the drugs would be, he “must have had a pretty good idea” as he saw the size of the package and handled it.

Justice Burns said Mackinder was not involved in purchasing the drugs and would not receive the profits of its sale.

However, he said he still had a vital role in its distribution and had expected to receive a reduction in his debt.

Justice Burns found Mackinder, who lived with his mother, was a social person who began to use cocaine in the wake of a marriage breakdown.


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Mackinder pleaded guilty to a charge of trafficking a controlled drug other than cannabis. He was sentenced to two years and six months’ jail from Wednesday to be served via an intensive corrections order, which allows him to serve his sentence in the community.

He must also perform 300 hours of community service.


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2 Responses to Gym junkie became a cocaine courier to repay debt to drug dealer
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buzz819 buzz819 8:37 pm 05 Aug 21

An illegal postman’s job is the most important?

He doesn’t have any input into the sale or supply, he doesn’t have the money to purchase it. Doesn’t have the brains to import it, grow it or manafacture it.

Any flunky can drive a car. Out of the whole operation, his is one above the guy who sweeps up the floor after the deal and about 30 or 40 spots below the top dog.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 7:08 pm 04 Aug 21

I don’t claim to be an expert in the functions of distributing illicit drugs but I believe Justice Burns saying Mackinder’s role in the operation was simply that of a courier is manifestly wrong. In fact, I would consider his role was the most important.

Any “expert” out there that wants to comment?

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