'By-catch' drug trafficker escapes jail this time

A FORMER Toowoomba drug trafficker has escaped going back to jail after being the "by-catch" in another police drug operation.

But Judge Ian Dearden told John Edward Mickelbourgh he felt comfortable with the decision because if he tripped up on parole he would be his own jailer.

Mickelbourgh was sentenced to 12 months jail, with immediate parole, after he pleaded guilty in Brisbane District Court on Tuesday to possessing and supplying methamphetamines.

Judge Dearden said the accused, now living in Surat - 80km from Roma - was caught out as "by-catch" in telephone intercepts receiving 600-700g of the drug as payment for a debt owed to him and sourcing amphetamines for a friend.

The court heard the father of two was sentenced in Toowoomba in 2008 to four years jail, suspended after the 541 days he had already served behind bars, for trafficking methamphetamines, cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy.

He breached that order, which was partially activated on Tuesday, but will run concurrently with the other sentence on parole.


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