AN Albury man with a drug habit at times costing $1000 a day has avoided going back to jail but must remain in residential rehabilitation as part of his parole conditions.
Matthew John Groves was involved with a drug syndicate run by Malcolm Collins.
When police shut it down after a covert operation, Groves was among those arrested after the monitoring of thousands of phone calls.
Groves, 34, of Atkins Street, spent three months and eight days in jail on remand before being granted Supreme Court bail to attend residential drug rehabilitation.
He has spent 204 days at Odyssey House and intends returning to complete the program with family support.
He appeared for sentencing in Albury Local Court yesterday on eight charges of drug supplying and conspiracy to supply involving ice and cannabis, many other charges having been previously withdrawn.
Director of Public Prosecutions representative Diana Paterson described Groves as a “street level dealer” who made no identifiable gain from his activities and the amounts were reasonably small.
For Groves, barrister Christine Mendes said his time in jail and rehabilitation were sufficient.
Ms Mendes said a recent Supreme Court ruling indicates people who spend time in rehabilitation get a 75 per cent credit towards any period of custody.
She said the time in Junee and Odyssey House equated to eight months as a non- parole period.
Magistrate Tony Murray convicted Groves and sentenced him to 18 months’ jail with a minimum term of eight months and three days.
He said Groves’ drug habit sometimes cost him up to $1000 a day and any gain was put towards buying drugs.
“His rehabilitation program has not been completed,” he said.
“He has recognised his problem with drugs and has done something positive about it.”