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Drilling boss sent to jail for coke deal

Two drilling company bosses from Kalgoorlie-Boulder will spend Christmas in prison after a second man was sentenced for his role in a cocaine deal busted by police at Perth Airport two years ago.

VM Drilling managing director Matthew Robin May, 42, was sentenced to 15 months in jail in the Perth District Court on Monday after he pleaded guilty to attempting to possess a prohibited drug with intent to sell or supply.

He admitted he tried to buy 14g of cocaine from fellow drilling boss Cameron Fredrickson.

Fredrickson was sentenced last month to three years and eight months for possession with intent to sell or supply cocaine after he was caught with 82.1g stashed in three packages after arriving in Perth on November 11, 2016, on a flight from Melbourne.

In a statement of agreed facts read out by District Court Judge Mark Herron, the court heard May was contacted by text message by Fredrickson on November 3, 2016, about the offer to purchase cocaine.

May forwarded $6000 to a bank account controlled by Fredrickson and another $4000 to an account controlled by his wife on November 7.

May initially denied the money was related to drugs when he was questioned by police.

But May and prosecutors later accepted he tried to buy 14g of cocaine worth $5000 — about half of Fredrickson’s offer — most of which he planned to use for himself.

May also paid $5000 for an acquaintance to obtain 14g of cocaine from Fredrickson, which he was never going to receive.

Judge Herron accepted May, who had used cocaine intermittently on about 20 occasions since 2010, had no intention of selling the drugs for commercial gain but said he intended to supply it to friends and his partner.

May accepted Fredrickson’s “unsolicited” offer to buy the drug ahead of functions and parties over Christmas because the drug was hard to come by in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, and while it was the biggest amount he had ever tried to obtain, Judge Herron said May’s offending could not be regarded as a “one-off”.

“It must be viewed in the context of and against a background of having access and being involved in the use and distribution of cocaine to a small group of friends on repeated occasions over an extended period of time over a number of years,” he told May.

May grew up in New Zealand and moved to Australia in 1998 where he had four children with his former wife, the youngest three of whom lived with him in Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

He founded a successful drilling business in 2004.

He received positive character references from colleagues and his former wife for his work in the Kalgoorlie-Boulder community, the drilling industry and with his children.

Judge Herron said he accepted May was a low risk of reoffending and showed significant remorse.

But he rejected submissions from May’s defence team that hardship to May’s family should be taken into account or that he should be given a suspended prison term, because of the seriousness of the offence.

“In my view, having regard to all of the circumstances, it would be inappropriate to suspend the term of imprisonment deemed proportionate to the gravity of this offence,” Judge Herron said.

May got a 10 per cent discount for issuing an early guilty plea and will be eligible for parole in 7 & 1/2 months.

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