Drug trafficker's 'fanciful' appeal dismissed

ONE of Queensland's highest judges has dubbed a Sunshine Coast drug dealer's appeal as "fanciful” and told him he could have gone to jail for longer.

Joshua Earl Wilkinson, 33, was jailed after he pleaded guilty to 19 drug offences including three counts of trafficking drugs.

Wilkinson ran a marijuana and meth operation out of a Caloundra house he shared with two other men, who sold drugs and collected money for him.

He was sentenced to six and a half years jail for the offences and eligible to apply for parole in December 2017.

But Wilkinson took his sentence and conviction to the Court of Appeal, claiming he was given poor legal advice.

He told the court his lawyers urged him to plead guilty and told him they would push for him to be immediately released on parole or a suspended sentence.

Court of Appeal president Walter Sofronoff said because of the strength of the police case, that was good advice.

"The case against him was based upon telephone intercepts and, having regard to the pleas of guilty entered by his accomplices, the Crown would have had no difficulty in proving its case against him,” he said.

"Further, his counsel did indeed, remarkably, make a submission that an appropriate sentence would see his client released on the day of sentence. Quite rightly, that submission was not accepted by the learned sentencing judge.”

Wilkinson told the court he should not have been sent to prison and should have been released back into the community on a suspended sentence.

"The outcome I wish to achieve is to be resentenced with the facts contested, considering by the time I arrive at trial I would have done three years ... I feel that I should be released, if not on a suspended terms then with my charges dropped,” he said.

But Justice Sofronoff said this submission was "fanciful” and the sentencing judge could have sent him to jail for longer.

"In my view the sentence was not only within the possible range of proper and appropriate sentences but was lenient,” he said.

The appeal was dismissed.

- NewsRegional

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