A methamphetamine dealer with 139 previous convictions has had a possible sentence of more than five years in prison reduced to one year of home detention.
Jamie Liu, 41, appeared in the High Court at Wellington this afternoon for sentencing, four years after he was arrested in a major police crackdown on the drug trade in the region.
The Masterton man was arrested in the first phase of police's Operation Fantail, and was charged with taking part in an organised criminal group supplying meth, as well as counts of supplying meth and offering to supply it.
Other members of the group, who were associated to different gangs including Tribesmen, Highway 61, and the Mongrel Mob, were arrested at the same time as Liu.
At the time, Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Moore from the Organised Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand said the operation showed rival gang members were co-operating in the sale and supply of methamphetamine and fantasy.
Liu has pleaded guilty to his charges, which relate to his role as a someone who sourced bulk supplies of meth.
Today Justice David Collins told Liu an acceptable sentencing starting point for him was five and a half years imprisonment, but several factors, including Liu's poor health, contributed to a reduction.
In 2015 Liu suffered two strokes. He has since had part of his brain removed, experienced blood clots, and continues to suffer post-stroke seizures.
His left arm was paralysed and he experiences weakness in one leg and vision impairment, as well as cognitive difficulties.
Liu can walk about 20m with crutches, but otherwise uses a wheelchair to move around.
"If you were in prison, you would be seriously vulnerable to serious attack," Justice Collins said.
"You need support to get your legs in and out of bed ... you need support to get dressed, showered, and go to the toilet."
There were concerns Liu would not be eligible for the high-dependency unit at Rimutaka Prison, however, as he was a risk to the safety of the staff.
Collins gave an uplift to the sentence starting point for Liu's previous criminal history, which includes 44 drug-related charges. Liu has previously been sentenced to four years and eight months prison on drug-dealing charges.
However Collins also allowed reductions of the sentence for Liu's health conditions, his guilty plea, and the fact he has remained on restrictive bail since October 2014.
The sentence came down to two years prison, making Liu eligible for home detention.
Collins sentenced him to 12 months of home detention.