A drug-dealer who sold meth while on home detention has been locked up for three and a-half years.
Hayley Johnson, 52, missed the birth of her latest grandchild because she had been behind bars awaiting sentencing, the Dunedin District Court heard yesterday.
She pleaded guilty to possessing ammunition, possessing a glass pipe and breaching home detention; and was found guilty of possessing methamphetamine for supply and supplying it following a judge-alone trial earlier this year.
On April 8 last year, the country was only days into the first level 4 Covid-19 lockdown.
It should not have mattered to Johnson who was serving a sentence of home detention on P charges, but when police turned up at her Mornington home the lockdown breaches were the least of her issues.
They found people both inside and outside the house.
Johnson's associates had almost $1000 of the class-A drug on them and it became clear to officers involved in the search warrant that the defendant's dealing had not stopped.
On the floor of her bedroom was a container holding 6.6g of meth and there was 3.3g hidden in her bra.
A tick list featured details of Johnson's debtors, some of whom owed her thousands.
Police also turned up a toiletry bag containing nearly $40,000 in cash.
When asked for explanation, the defendant said: "I'll tell the judge."
And she did at trial.
Judge Jim Large found it "not credible" that the money would have come from a car sale and Johnson's craft pursuits.
The matter would be fully argued in a separate proceeding since the Crown had sought forfeiture of the funds as "proceeds of crime".
Counsel Andrew Dawson stressed his client's efforts to go straight while in jail.
Johnson had completed a pre-existing community-work sentence by knitting items for children in Christchurch Hospital.
She had also addressed her "heavy and regular" drug use by undertaking a 160-hour course.
A cultural report detailed Johnson's disconnection from her culture and her early exposure to domestic violence and drugs.
Dawson said she had travelled to the South Island to escape the ex-partner who had introduced her to methamphetamine but he had pursued her and had also been convicted of drug-dealing.