One of NP’s ‘biggest methamphetamine dealers’ claims to have turned his back on drugs


John Barry Bevin's Ngamotu Rd home in New Plymouth was raided earlier this year and he was caught with about $20,000 of methamphetamine.

Leighton Keith/Stuff

John Barry Bevin’s Ngamotu Rd home in New Plymouth was raided earlier this year and he was caught with about $20,000 of methamphetamine.

A drug dealer busted with around $20,000 of methamphetamine claims to be turning his back on “a lifelong experience of drug addiction and ongoing criminal activity”.

John Barry Bevin was in New Plymouth District Court on Wednesday for sentencing on a charge of possessing the class A drug, also known as P, for supply and being in possession of cannabis. 

The 37-year-old earlier admitted the charges and was due for sentencing in October but opted to have the hearing rescheduled in hope for a lighter sentence.

At the time, a Court of Appeal decision reviewing penalties for methamphetamine dealing was due out. 

READ MORE:
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It has since been released and dealers can now argue their personal drug addiction played a role in their offending and therefore they should be eligible for a shorter sentence, reduced by up to 30 per cent.

In court, that was exactly what defence lawyer Julian Hannam argued.

He said while there was a commercial aspect to the quantity of methamphetamine Bevin held – about 57.8 grams – it was to facilitate his own living and his own addiction.

In New Plymouth District Court on Wednesday, he was sentenced to 10 months' home detention in relation to the offending.

ANDY JACKSON/STUFF

In New Plymouth District Court on Wednesday, he was sentenced to 10 months’ home detention in relation to the offending.

Therefore, Hannam said it was lesser role offending and argued it should be met with a six-month reduction to his sentence, as well as a number of other reductions including for his rehabilitation and guilty pleas, ending in a sentence of home detention.

It was heard Bevin has been clean since his arrest in May last year, which came as a result of Operation Dynasty, a police operation targeting the supply of methamphetamine in Taranaki.

He has spent six weeks in a residential rehabilitation centre and in a medical report provided to the court it was explained Bevin has been prescribed medication which addresses his methamphetamine cravings.

Hannam argued this reduced his risk of reoffending. 

Bevin, once touted as one of the biggest methamphetamine dealers busted by New Plymouth police, has convictions dating back to 1999 and was last jailed in November 2009 for two years and 10 months for dealing P.

However, his latest drug convictions followed after he was pulled over by police while he driving in New Plymouth about 4pm on May 21.

A search of his vehicle turned up a pipe used to smoke P and $1000 in cash. Bevin was arrested and taken back to the city station. 

A search warrant was then executed at his Ngamotu Rd home about 5.35pm. 

The 37-year-old's offending was driven by his own addiction to the drug, it was heard in court, from which he now claims to be clean.

STUFF

The 37-year-old’s offending was driven by his own addiction to the drug, it was heard in court, from which he now claims to be clean.

Stashes of methamphetamine were found in a set of drawers in the bedroom, in a wooden table in the lounge and hidden behind a microwave in the kitchen.

The police summary of facts said a large amount of cash was also discovered in another bedroom.

In total, about 57.8 grams of methamphetamine, or two ounces, was seized by police. The drugs had a likely street value of $20,000 going by the figures provided in the police summary.

It said a typical price for an ounce of methamphetamine (about 28 grams) was $10,000, with a gram going for $600.

A search of an adjoining garage also turned up 200 grams of dried cannabis head in an airtight container.

After consideration of the submissions, Judge Denys Barry took a start point of four years’ jail.

However, he accepted Bevin’s offending was “addiction-driven street-level dealing primarily to subsidise his own addiction” and gave a reduction of six months. 

Following an uplift and then a number of further discounts, he reached an end point of one year and nine months which was converted to ten months’ home detention.