The drug runner known as Bam claimed he was “under the spell” of ex-girlfriend Jasmine Bourne when he was transporting large amounts of ice for her from Melbourne to Wangaratta.
John Kettyle, 32, pleaded guilty this week to trafficking methamphetamine over his six-week role in the major drug syndicate running out of Wangaratta during 2016.
Intercepts on ringleader Bourne’s mobile phone revealed text messages about drugs he was purchasing.
At one stage Kettyle complained he was owed $11,000 for the “runs”, but Bourne refused to pay because she had given him a car, bike and $1000 for a lawyer.
He told her the monetary debt could be paid back in “bags”, which police said referred to ounce bags of methamphetamine.
The length of the sentence will be appealed on the grounds it was “manifestly excessive”.
Barrister Tom Sawyer told Wangaratta Magistrates Court that Kettyle had mental health issues and never recovered from a head injury suffered in 2015.
“He began to self-medicate on various drugs and that was his downfall,” he said.
“He was under the spell or being manipulated by the main player Jasmine Bourne.
“My client was living in Melbourne and he was driving up here to see Ms Bourne.”
Bourne, who was last week sentenced to eight years in jail, had told the court her drug operation grew when she got involved with Kettyle.
Mr Sawyer asked magistrate Ian Watkins to consider a jail sentence to run concurrently with the one Kettyle is already serving, but crown prosecutor Max Perry argued extra time was required for the drug trafficking.
“It’s being done for money, he was discussing what was owed to him in finances,” Mr Perry said.
The case was adjourned for sentencing in October.
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