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Mine worker who lost legs jailed over meth

AAP logoAAP 27/09/2016

A West Australian man who lost both legs below the knees in a mining accident has been jailed for more than two years for selling meth to an undercover policeman.

Bevan John Coutts, 52, dealt more than 13g of the drug in total over two separate occasions last year, with the purity ranging from 76 to 80 per cent.

On one occasion, Coutts met with the police operative through another person and said he could deal with him directly in the future, the WA District Court heard on Tuesday.

Defence lawyer Ryan Arndt said Coutts was an intermediary for a mid-tier drug dealer and received small quantities of meth, rather than money, for his involvement.

Judge Anette Schoombee noted the ultimate drug supplier did not want to get his hands dirty, but said Coutts still played an important role.

She accepted Coutts had had some "unfortunate events" in his life, including a workplace accident at Fortescue Metals Group's Anderson Point facility near Port Hedland in 2011, which meant he now walked with prosthetics, as well as other health issues.

But the judge noted Coutts received a large payout after his accident and bought a house, a vacant property and car, and did not need to be involved in selling drugs.

Judge Schoombee accepted time in custody would be especially difficult for Coutts given his health issues, but added general and personal deterrence were also important considerations for sentencing.

She said the public needed to be protected, particularly because people often became addicted to drugs and it usually ended in tragedy.

"At the end of the day, people often commit crimes ... to pay for their methylamphetamine habit, then other people are affected by those crimes," she said.

Coutts, who appeared in court via video link from Geraldton Courthouse, previously pleaded guilty to one count of possessing meth with intent to sell or supply, and was found guilty by a jury on another count.

He was sentenced to two years and one month behind bars, and will be eligible for parole after serving half the term.

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