R v Chai 2019 NZDC 1215

Published 12 August 2019

Sentencing — importing class A controlled drug — methamphetamine — importing class B controlled drug — ephedrine — minimum period of imprisonment — Man v R [2017] NZCA 525 — R v Nguyen [2009] NZCA 239 — Yuen v R [2015] NZCA 555 — Sentencing Act 2002, s 86. The defendant appeared for sentence on one charge of importing methamphetamine and 11 of importing ephedrine, a precursor substance of methamphetamine. He was part of a criminal group that was importing illegal drugs into New Zealand from Asia. He played the role of catcher, meaning he secured packages of illegal drugs from addresses that they had been sent to and forwarded packages on for distribution. The charge related to 2kg of methamphetamine. The amount of ephedrine was at least 60kg. Aggravating factors were a high level of premeditation, and multiple offences over a long period. The Court also commented on the major harm caused by methamphetamine. The sentencing indication had indicated a total starting point of 18 years. The defendant had shown no genuine remorse, but earned a 25 per cent reduction for early guilty plea. The final sentence was 13 years six months, and the Court set a minimum period of imprisonment of 40 per cent (five years six months), saying this was necessary in order to deter this type of offending. Judgment Date: 16 January 2019.