A former champion kickboxer who sold drugs under the handle ‘Gohard101’ to fund his cocaine addiction has had his jail time reduced for being ‘well mannered’.
Father-of-two Stuart McKinnon, 45, and another man sold 20,000 MDMA pills to undercover police officers on two occasions in 2017.
The founder of Bulldog Gym Muay Thai Castle Hill, in north-west Sydney, was jailed for 11 years with a non-parole period of seven years and six months in April last year.
But on Wednesday, McKinnon’s sentence was reduced to eight years after he challenged the jail term in the Supreme Court of Criminal Appeal.
His seven and-a-half-year non-parole period dropped to five years and six months, meaning he could be out of jail in mid-2024.
Stuart McKinnon, his wife Liz and their nine-year-old son. A convicted drug dealer, McKinnon is in jail but will be able to see his family three years earlier as his sentence was reduced from 11 years to eight years on Wednesday
McKinnon’s sentence was reduced because he has become an ‘asset’ to Long Bay prison, where he is serving his sentence, according to The Daily Telegraph.
The court heard the recovering cocaine addict is now a ‘well-mannered’ reception sweeper who serves breakfast to other inmates and provides mental health support.
The father-of-two has also been ‘stopping anything from getting physical’ by breaking up fights in the prison yard.
In addition to his good behaviour in jail, three appeal judges also found that McKinnon’s initial sentence from last year was too harsh.
McKinnon and his wife Liz. The father’s appeal against his 11-year sentence was accepted by appeal judges on Wednesday, who took into account his good behaviour in prison and concluded his sentence was too harsh
McKinnon pleaded guilty to two counts of supplying large commercial quantities of MDMA. Lesser charges of drug possession and dealing with proceeds of crime were to be taken into account in sentencing.
Defence lawyers use this strategy to reduce the overall sentence for clients with multiple charges.
But the three appeals judges ruled that the sentencing judge did not accurately take into account the lesser charges, meaning that McKinnon’s sentence was excessive.
McKinnon’s family will now see him three years earlier. He has a wife named Liz, a nine-year-old son and a two-year-old daughter, who are waiting for his return.
McKinnon is the founder of Bulldog Gym Muay Thai Castle Hill, in north-west Sydney. He has been ‘stopping anything from getting physical’ by breaking up fights in the prison yard
During his sentencing last year, McKinnon told the court his downward spiral escalated when he developed a 28-gram-a-week cocaine habit and was met with a mounting financial debt.
In the days after the arrest, McKinnon told Crystal he was going to Thailand for a ten-day trip.
But it wasn’t until almost one-year later that the kickboxing champion was arrested by police.
Officers descended on his north-west Sydney home with a warrant on May 1, 2018 and seized $237,700 and four vials of testosterone.
During his sentencing last year, McKinnon told the court his downward spiral escalated when he developed a 28-gram-a-week cocaine habit and was met with a mounting financial debt
McKinnon was charged with two counts of supplying large commercial quantities of MDMA, possess prohibited drug and dealing with proceeds of crime.
He told the court at the time he held the cash for a dealer amid his crippling debt.
McKinnon was using about an ounce of cocaine a week in 2016 and his dealer effectively said: ‘We’re going to have to work this out or things are going to get bad for me and my family’.
McKinnon told the court an agreement was made that he would house large amounts of cash to lower his debt.
Officers descended on his north-west Sydney home with a warrant on May 1, 2018 and seized $237,700 and four vials of testosterone
He was given a blackberry phone where he acted as ‘Gohard101’ and arranged transactions using encrypted chat.
McKinnon was forced out of his competitive kickboxing career due to a crippling back injury.
At the height of his career he had won a world championship and McKinnon admitted participating in the sport gave him ‘drive’ and ‘self-worth’.
Judge Sean Grant said McKinnon’s motivation for offending was financial and dismissed a psychological report which said the offence came as a result of his drug addiction.
McKinnon was jailed for 11 years with a non-parole period of 7 years and six months, which was reduced to eight years on Wednesday.
McKinnon could be out of jail on parole and back into his boxing gym as early as mid-2024