Meth and weed dealers say jail sentence was excessive

A COUPLE caught with about $90,000 of meth and about $9000 of marijuana at their North Deep Creek property are appealing their jail sentences.

Michael Robert Rooney and Belinda Jane Gehringer were jailed earlier this year for trafficking drugs and have appealed to Queensland's highest court to reduce their sentences.

They say it was excessive and that the judge did not properly consider their guilty pleas.

Their lawyer Michael Copley told the Court of Appeal on Wednesday that the sentencing judge should have reduced Rooney and Gehringer's sentences because they had pleaded guilty.

He said they did not plead guilty to some charges until just before a trial was due to start but that the guilty pleas ultimately saved court resources.

In May this year Rooney was sentenced to seven years jail and Gehringer was sentenced to five years over the drug operation that ran between December 2011 and January 2013.

No recommended parole eligibility date was ordered.

"The allowance made to recognise the utilitarian values of each of the applicant's pleas of guilty was insufficient…" Mr Copley said.

Mr Copley asked the Court of Appeal to consider allowing Rooney and Gehringer to be eligible for parole after serving a third of their jail sentences.

He also said Gehringer was entitled to a wholly suspended jail sentence because she did not have a criminal record.

Crown prosecutor Mark Whitbread said the judge had no obligation to reduce the sentences.

He also said the judge did reduce the sentences - Rooney received seven years instead of seven and a half and Gehringer received five years instead of five and a half.

He said the sentencing judge did not make an error.

The Court of Appeal will hand down its decision at a future date.


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