A COURT has heard one of the men charged with buying more than $12,500 worth of cocaine set for this year's Scone Cup race meet wasn't in it for financial gain.
Thomas James Elmes, 30, narrowly escaped jail in Muswellbrook Local Court on Tuesday, slapped with an 18-month intensive corrections order and 150 hours of community service.
His co-accused, 42-year-old Hamish Mark Le Poer Trench was sentenced to a 12-month intensive corrections order earlier this month.
Elmes' defence lawyer told the court there was no evidence his client was supplying to the community on a commercial basis for significant financial benefit.
"He was someone with longstanding and heavy drug use or abuse issues himself, and also supplying to a circle of friends, although distinct from Le Poer Trench given it was outside that distinct circle for some type of advantage," he said.
"He has explained ... [it] wasn't to make money or receive payment, but by supplying to friends whether for free or some sort of benefit he still supplied in the eye of the law and that makes it a serious offence.
"He firmly understands he is to be sentenced by this court for being in possession of an amount of a prohibited drug."
Both were targeted for surveillance as part of Strike Force Bunk investigations into the supply of illicit drugs, particularly cocaine, around Scone.
Police intercepted a number of phone conversations between Elmes and Le Poer Trench, as well as each of them with other associates.
About a week before this year's Scone Cup carnival, police recorded a conversation between the pair during which Elmes asked: "Do I need to pick anything up tomorrow or have we got enough for the races?". Le Poer Trench replied: "Oh, I'll have enough for the races".
According to police facts tendered to the court, the men were talking about cocaine.
In another recorded phone conversation, Elmes said he had a "brick" and bragged that "we are at the height of our success".
On another occasion the married man said he had stayed awake all night having sex with two sex workers and "it only cost me about two grand in coke and $800 in room service".
Magistrate Kevin Hockey said evidence taken from phone intercepts and police statements showed Elmes had intended to supply the cocaine to his mates, to use in exchange for sexual services from escorts, as well as use the drug to pay off part of a business bill.
"That clearly creates a commercial advantage for the defendant, and further the accused has used cocaine as payment for a business expense and other sexual services," he said.
"That also in my view creates a commercial advantage.
"There is a need to ensure he is punished for the offence to protect the community, make him accountable and denounce his conduct - as well as promote the rehabilitation of the offender."
Elmes was ordered to accept supervision from Community Corrections for the duration of his intensive corrections order.
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