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Byron Shire
May 16, 2021

Nimbin ‘lane boy’ jailed for cannabis supply

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One of the Nimbin ‘lane boys’ has been jailed for supplying cannabis after he lost his District Court appeal to serve his time in the community on a suspended sentence.

Ryan Hawken was sentenced to 12 months jail with a non-parole period of eight months in Lismore Local Court in July.

After his sentence was handed down he lodged an appeal against the severity of the sentence and he was granted conditional bail.

This morning, Lismore District Court Judge Laura Wells refused his appeal to serve a non-custodial sentence, as he had two prior convictions and a warning.

The court heard the 29-year-old was placed on a good behaviour bond in 2007 and he received a suspended sentence after being convicted of reckless grievous bodily harm in company in 2010.

Mr Hawken’s solicitor told the court since 2010 he had rehabilitated his behaviour and changed his life, until a back injury prevented him from working and he reconnected with friends in Nimbin.

She said he regretted the decision to reconnect with his friends who were involved in selling cannabis.

‘He has realised there are no excuses for his actions,’ News Corp reported she said.

The court heard Mr Hawken had moved to Queensland, had no association with his friends from Nimbin, he had a full-time job and was living with his partner.

His solicitor described his chances of reoffending as ‘remote’.

Between January and April last year, Mr Hawken was captured on CCTV supplying cannabis 20 times.

When he was arrested, he described it as a ‘big wake up call’ in a letter he wrote to the court.

But Judge Wells said the big wake up call should have been the prior good behaviour bond and suspended sentence he served.

She said he was involved in the enterprise purely for profit and had a ‘flippant attitude’ about the offences.

When Mr Hawken’s sentence was reduced to nine months, with a six month non-parole period, family and friends in the gallery were visibly upset.

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  1. Coming down hard on cannabis is vital ……. for the survival of the illicit drugs industry, the 3rd largest industry in the world. Wherever cannabis has been legalised the use of other drugs has dropped like a rock.


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