Dealers ‘lose roll of dice’

TWO travelling drug dealers from Sydney have chanced their arm and lost severity appeals against jail terms imposed last week in Wodonga by magistrate Ian Watkins.

Mr Watkins had emphatically told Rachel Kelly Harding and Selman Daoud “you’re not welcome in this area” when imposing minimum jail terms of three months and five months respectively.

In appealing their sentences, the pair appeared before Judge Richard Maidment in the County Court at Wodonga who warned them there was a risk their sentences could be increased.

They forged ahead but it was a gamble that backfired.

Both received extra jail time — Harding will now serve five months and Daoud nine months.

At the end of that time, both will be on suspended three-month sentences for the following 12 months.

The outcome has been applauded by police at the forefront of fighting a continual battle to apprehend drug dealers.

Harding, 22, and Daoud, 25, drove to Albury-Wodonga and Wangaratta two weeks ago from Sydney and were caught by police three times in three days with drugs, $2800 in cash, mobile phones and a laptop.

Daoud, who was driving the car at the time the pair were busted in Wangaratta, was nabbed with more than three grams of bagged amphetamine and an ice pipe in his underpants.

He pleaded guilty to nine charges, including trafficking amphetamine, using amphetamine and three counts of drug possession.

Harding pleaded guilty to five charges, including trafficking amphetamine and possessing drugs.

She had more than 23 grams of amphetamine on her body, including 10 grams hidden in a bag in her bra, when she was stopped by police in Wangaratta, at 2.10am on May 21.

Police found a computerised tick list of people who had rec-eived drugs to the value of $9630.

The next day Harding was found in Wodonga, with $2000 in cash and two drug pipes in her bra.

On May 23 they stopped for breakfast at McDonald’s at the Homemaker centre in Wod-onga when police found them with drugs and deal bags and a set of scales.

Mr Watkins told the pair when sentencing them that methylamphetamine was an “evil drug that is destroying many people’s lives”.