A chronically-ill grandfather found guilty of selling ice to support his younger lover could spend his final days behind bars, his lawyer warned in court.
Ian Robert Pettigrew, 72, pleaded guilty to drugs and weapons offences when he appeared in Cairns Supreme Court on Wednesday.
He was ordered to serve six months of a three-and-a-half year jail term, The Cairns Post reported.
Pettigrew had spent his retirement fund and sold personal possessions to keep his lover half his age happy in a ‘foolish infatuation’.
She eventually left him for a younger man.
A chronically-ill grandfather could die in jail after he was sentenced on Wednesday (stock image)
The judge took into account Ian Robert Pettigrew’s deteriorating health but said he couldn’t overlook the seriousness of the offences during sentencing in Cairns Supreme Court (pictured)
Left broke as well as heartbroken, he boosted his bank account through drug dealing until he was caught at Cairns Airport in possession of four ounces of ice in November 2016.
Pettigrew was returning from Sydney, where he bought the drugs for $16,000 to sell in four lots at $2000 profit per ounce, the court heard.
When police raided his home in the Cairns suburb of Edmonton, they found weapons and ammunition which he said he had been holding for a friend.
The court heard that Pettigrew bought ice (stock image) for $16,000 to sell in four lots at $2000 profit per ounce
Defence barrister Josh Trevin argued his client suffered from a number of serious health issues and may die in prison if sentenced, The Cairns Post reported.
‘It’s a callous thing to say but it’s a very real possibility in the circumstances,’ Mr Trevin told the court.
Justice James Henry took into account Pettigrew’s deteriorating health but said he couldn’t overlook the seriousness of the offences.
‘This is very very serious criminal conduct requiring a penalty that will deter others,’ Justice Henry said.
Pettigrew was found in possession of ice at Cairns Airport (stock image) in late 2016