A PUBLICAN found guilty of supplying cocaine will not serve any time in jail after a judge varied his original sentence in the Bathurst District Court.
Mark Raymond Booth, 48 - previously of Oberon Street, Oberon and now of Burgess Place, Windradyne - appeared before Judge Graham Turnbull on Monday.
Booth was arrested in March and charged with supplying a prohibited drug, 14.5 grams of cocaine.
He was convicted and sentenced to a 10-month full-time custodial sentence, including three months' non-parole, in the Bathurst Local Court in August but immediately lodged an appeal and was given bail.
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The matter then went before the Bathurst District Court on Monday where the appeal was dismissed and the magistrate's orders varied.
Booth will now serve 10 months' imprisonment by way of an Intensive Corrections Order in the community, starting September 9 and expiring July 8, 2020. He was also fined $1000.
Booth, the manager of the Royal Hotel in Oberon at the time of his arrest, was at one time a professional rugby league player. References handed to the court said Booth had played at the highest level in the NRL and also played first grade rugby league for Oberon.
Booth was arrested and charged by police on March 18 this year at Hartley.
Police facts said officers at Lithgow had received a tip-off that Booth was driving from Sydney to Lithgow with drugs in his car.
Police were told Booth would be driving his grey Holden Commodore with number plates MB00TH and would be in possession of a prohibited drug.
Checks by police revealed relevant intelligence that supported the information.
Police pulled Booth over on Jenolan Caves Road, Hartley.
They told Booth why he had been pulled over and asked if he had any prohibited drugs in the car.
Booth said he did and showed officers where the drugs were.
He said he had half an ounce of cocaine in the centre console and a search of the vehicle located 14.5 grams of the drug in a clear, sealed plastic bag.
Jenolan Caves Road, Little Hartley ...
Booth was arrested and taken to Lithgow police station and, in an electronically recorded interview, admitted to possessing cocaine.
He told officers he had travelled to Sydney to buy the drugs and had paid $3000.
Booth said the cocaine was for personal use but admitted he would share it with his friends if they asked, and had done so previously.
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