R v Sukabula [2019] NZDC 12123

Published 13 September 2021

Sentencing — importation of pseudoephedrine — drugs — manufacture and supply of methamphetamine — Class B controlled substance — R v Wallace [1999] 31 NZLR 159. The defendant appeared for sentence on four charges of importing pseudoephedrine and other drugs. He brought the pseudoephedrine into the country while working as a seaman aboard a container vessel that sailed to New Zealand from Fiji. He then supplied the pseudoephedrine to members of an organised criminal group that used it to manufacture methamphetamine, completing four such deliveries before the members of the group were arrested. The Court found that the defendant's offending fell into a band of R v Wallace that required a start point for sentence of between five and eight years' imprisonment. The Court pointed to the repeated offending, the significant quantity of drugs involved, and the defendant's abuse of his position as a worker on board a container vessel. The start point for sentence was six years' imprisonment, and the Court applied discounts for being a foreign national in a New Zealand prison, efforts to rehabilitate, guilty plea and remorse. The final sentence was four years three months. Judgment Date: 8 May 2019.