BLOW BACK: Cocaine-dealing dad avoids jail stint

DEALING cocaine is a "personal experiment" a Southern Downs dad has sworn to never repeat, after a month of rapid-fire drug supplies almost cost him his freedom.

When police raided Hayden Peter Richey's Stanthorpe home in December 2018, they found a mobile phone that revealed he dealt varying amounts of marijuana on 10 occasions in Glen Aplin.

The Warwick District Court heard the now 26-year-old also offered small amounts of cocaine and Ecstasy to friends while on a trip to the Gold Coast.

Working closely by Richey's side was his now 20-year-old girlfriend Courtney Paige Moss, who was involved in a separate four dealings of marijuana within the same time period.

Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Kelso said the 26-year-old's dealings in Schedule 1 drugs were by far the most serious offences, especially when combined with his previous drug convictions.

Ms Kelso added that even though Moss presented without any prior criminal history, she was initially uncooperative with police and admitted only to buying marijuana, rather than dealing.

Defence lawyer Dorothy Switala said Richey was "drawn into and lost control of" a bad situation, and family troubles made his girlfriend particularly vulnerable to the offending.

Ms Switala told the court both clients had stayed clean since their arrests, and the 26-year-old was especially determined to set a better example for his three-year-old son.

Judge Nicole Kefford commended the pair on their early pleas of guilt and lack of reoffending.

Richey pleaded guilty to 12 counts of supplying a dangerous drug and one count of possessing an item used in connection with a drug offence.

He was sentenced to nine months' jail, wholly suspended for 12 months.

Moss pleaded guilty to four counts of supplying a dangerous drug, and was sentenced to 100 hours' community service.

Only Richey's convictions were recorded.