BRIAN Ogilvie was a 68-year-old pensioner who got bored growing old, so he decided to become a drug dealer.
He treated his 10 to 12 customers like friends, having cups of tea and sandwiches with them.
And he was going to use the tens of thousands of dollars profit from his drug trade to become a grey nomad and travel in his caravan around Australia this winter.
Ogilvie, a former fisherman and council worker, of Bowen, pleaded guilty in the District Court in Mackay on Friday to five drug-related charges including trafficking in marijuana over a two-year period from October 2008 to October 2010.
Police executed a search warrant on his caravan and located 1kg of marijuana, with about half of it packed into 16 clip-sealed bags ready for sale, Crown prosecutor Melanie Franklin said.
They found $76,000 in cash hidden in secret locations around the place.
It included a large amount of cash hidden in a curtain, and more money in a Tupperware container in a straw hat hanging on a hook. When police found the cash in the hat Ogilvie said: “Oh, you found that, did you?”
There were 10 grams of marijuana in a freezer, which he said was for his personal use.
He told police he had been living for two years, partly on drug money and partly on his pension, because he didn’t want to touch his savings, which were in a trust account for his retirement.
“He told police it was a boring life being a pensioner and it was something to do,” Ms Franklin said.
He also said he didn’t know why the use of marijuana was not made legal.
His words to police were: “Why they don’t make it legal has got me cracked, hey.”
Barrister Bronwyn Hartigan said Ogilvie suffered from the early onset of dementia and had vascular problems.
His wife died about 40 years ago and he had been taking anti-depressants for about 30 years.
“Loneliness played a big part in his offences,” Ms Hartigan said.
“He’d always have a chat with his customers, a cup of tea and a sandwich.
“He was bored, lonely and craving company.”
Judge Brian Harrison said it was sad to see a man of Ogilvie’s age and with health problems trafficking in drugs in a big way.
Ogilvie was jailed for four years, to be suspended after serving 12 months because of his health problems and his co-operation with authorities. An order was made forfeiting the drugs and $76,000 in cash to the Crown.
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