Kurt Bayer

Kurt Bayer is an APNZ reporter based in Christchurch.

Pike River miner's drug-dealing partner avoids jail sentence

File photo / APN
File photo / APN

A Greymouth hairdresser who admitted a "tail-end Charlie" role in a West Coast drug dealing operation today avoided a jail sentence.

Bridget Elizabeth Smith, 28, earlier pleaded guilty to three charges of supplying, or offering to supply, Class A drugs, Class B ecstasy, and Class C cannabis.

Her co-offender and partner at the time, former Pike River coal miner Joshua Murray Jackson who turned to drugs after 29 of his mates were killed in the 2010 mining tragedy, was jailed in December for four-and-a-half years.

Jackson, 26, had pleaded guilty to supplying, or offering to supply LSD and ecstasy.

When police raided his home, they found a pipe for smoking ecstasy, a pill press, a sawn-off .22 rifle and four sticks of Powergel explosives.

Today at Christchurch District Court, Smith was sentenced to five months' home detention and 200 hours of community work.

Defence counsel Pip Hall QC said Smith lives in a small community and the publicity has caused her "anxiety and embarrassment".

Judge Brian Callaghan noted she was a first-time offender and at the time had been "in the thrall" of Jackson, but had since ended that relationship and stopped her drug use.

Only one of the drug-dealing transactions had been completed, the judge said, and she had told her probation officer that she had not benefited financially from it.

He said her role had been one of a "tail-end Charlie" and that Jackson had been the main offender in the drug dealing operation.

- APNZ

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