Court hears 'busy' drug dealer made $3600 from 17 customers

CONFESSED ice addict Matthew John Coyle has a "devil on his shoulder".  

The 26-year-old appeared in the Supreme Court of Rockhampton from behind custody glass on Tuesday, part way through a prison sentence for a four-hour crime spree committed in Gladstone early last year.   

But the spate of 18 offences, for which he was sentenced in November last year, was not over for Coyle with police finding his mobile phone in a dumped and stolen car which linked him to a "busy" drug trafficking period.   

Police found the mobile phone in one of the three cars Coyle stole and dumped last May with 480 messages relating to the sale of methamphetamine or cannabis over a five-day period.   

The court heard the "busy street-level dealer" made $3600 from 17 different customers with at least one transaction amounting to $1500 for an eight-ball, or 3.5g of methamphetamine.   

Defence lawyer Tom Polley said Coyle had an "exemplary work history" which was tarnished by a history of drug offending.   

"To cut a long story short he was doing well and fell off the band wagon," Mr Polley said.  

"He ran into an old mate and tried meth again on one occasion and fell into a three-month period of hard drug abuse.

"To talk to him when he is not under the influence, he has a spark.  

"There is no explanation other than he has a devil on his shoulder."   

Justice Duncan McMeekin told the court he previously sentenced Coyle for drug trafficking charges in May 2014, an offence for which he was on parole at the time of the fresh offending.   

"The picture painted is clear, you work hard but when you are on drugs you are a complete and utter menace to us all and yourself for that matter," Mr McMeekin said.  

"If you keep going you are going to spend a long, long time in prison."  

Coyle pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking dangerous drugs and was sentenced to three years and two months in prison, to be served concurrently with his current sentence.  

Justice McMeekin ordered a parole eligibility date of September 18 with an operational period of five years.   

Topics:  court drugs rockhampton magistrates court

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