Inept tourist drug seller walks free

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    Inept tourist drug seller walks free
    A BRITISH backpacker who was caught selling drugs in Darwin when he offered them to an off-duty police officer was released from prison this week.

    Alexander James MacLean, 24, pleaded guilty to possessing and supplying what he thought was ecstasy, but were in fact tablets of a similar drug called MDMC (bk-MDMA aka methylone) and Ketamine.

    The NT Supreme Court heard the electrician was in Australia on a two-year work visa and concocted a plan with an interstate friend to transport the drugs after an associate in Sydney offered him a "good deal".

    His legal aid lawyer Fiona Kepert said he was under the influence of drugs when he wandered up to an interstate, off-duty police officer in the Smith St mall in the early hours of August 2 and asked him if he wanted to buy some ecstasy.

    The officer told NT Police, who found MacLean and arrested him a couple of hours later.

    He had 50 tablets on him at the time, and police found another 63 in his room at the Cavenagh Hotel.

    MacLean has been in prison since his arrest.

    Ms Kepert said MacLean had become involved in a youth drug-taking culture, and was taking ecstasy up to five times a week when he was arrested, and most of the drugs were for his use and to share with friends.

    In sentencing, Justice Judith Kelly said selling drugs was risky, and MacLean did not know what was in those he was taking.

    "It seems to me that you ran the risk of your offending falling into a more serious category when you agreed (to buy the drugs) not knowing what it was," she said.

    Justice Kelly said the offences were serious and prevalent in Darwin.

    She said she considered the three months and two weeks MacLean had already served while on remand as sufficient time for him to serve.

    She sentenced him to two years in prison, suspended from yesterday.

    It is believed he will now return to the United Kingdom to take up work again as an electrician.

    November 20th, 2009

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