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Claimed cannabis for own use

A man's problem with illicit drugs began after a motorbike accident in which he fractured his back, Gisborne District Court was told.

Chadrick Norman Sheridan, 29, was jailed for 11 months after pleading guilty to supplying cannabis (156.5 grams), possessing methamphetamine (4.5 grams), unlicensed possession of a firearm, and two breaches of bail.

He was convicted and discharged for dangerous driving and failing to stop — fine-only offences —which he also admitted. He will be subject to a six-month driver disqualification.

Counsel Heather Vaughn said she would not be advocating for a recommended sentence of home detention. Sheridan's lengthy time on remand in custody would see him almost due for immediate release from the prison term likely to be imposed.

The lead offence involved the cannabis, which was found along with dealing paraphernalia (snaplock bags, tinfoil, digital weight scales etc) during a police search of Sheridan's home on April 11, last year. The meth and a .22 rifle were also discovered. The rifle had a suppressor and was in working order but not loaded. Sheridan has no firearms licence and claimed to be holding it for a friend.

He told police the cannabis was for his personal use but that he also at times exchanged it for meth.

He began using cannabis after a motorbike accident in 2014 and preferred it to conventional pain medication. It also assisted with his other health issues, Sheridan said.

The dangerous driving incident happened on April 29, last year. Sheridan, riding an unregistered motorbike through Gisborne's central business district at about 3.45am, refused to pull over for police and accelerated away at speed, pulling wheel stands. He tried to flee police pursuing him by driving on railway tracks.

For the lead offence the judge set a starting point of 16 months' imprisonment uplifting it with an adjustment by two months for the other applicable offending.

He received discounts for a causal link between his health issues and his offending, his guilty pleas, and remorse.

Judge Warren Cathcart noted Sheridan's claim he was motivated to change due to becoming a father. It was a promise often heard by the court but sadly not often kept, the judge said.

He ordered destruction of the gun.