Man who imported cocaine using post boxes appeals

A BLI Bli man who used south-east Queensland post boxes to import cocaine is relying on a psychologist's report in his fight to appeal his jail sentence.

Steven Peter Verrall's defence barrister Dymphna Hawkins applied for leave to appeal his 12-year drug trafficking sentence on two grounds.

She argued the sentence was excessive and submitted a psychologist's report as new evidence.

Ms Hawkins told the Queensland Court of Appeal on Tuesday the report found Verrall had suffered from moderate alcohol use disorder and a stimulant disorder, specifically cocaine, at the time he trafficked the drug from Thailand.

As psychologists cannot diagnose people with medical conditions, Ms Hawkins used the report to highlight the psychologist's belief therapy would benefit Verrall.

She said the sentence should have been shorter with a condition he receive ongoing treatment for substance abuse issues after his release from jail.

The Department of Public Prosecutions argued the parole board, not the sentencing judge, had the power to rule Verrall continue rehabilitation.

Ms Hawkins said the judge who sentenced Verrall did not take into consideration his drug dependency and efforts to rehabilitate himself.

Verrall, who was taken into custody in 2009, represented himself in 2013 when he tried to contest the sentence.

Ms Hawkins said Verrall did not properly explain he had a drug dependency, and was not just an occasional user, or reveal his rehabilitation attempts.

She said the judge was unaware he had been a model prisoner while in custody for more than 1000 days, completing numerous courses.

But Justice Jean Dalton shot down Ms Hawkins arguments, citing the judge's sentencing remarks when he gave Verrall credit for his rehabilitation efforts.

Justice Dalton also said Verrall repeatedly told the judge he was a model prisoner.

The appeal court justices reserved their judgment to a later date.

- APN NEWSDESK



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