Qualified forklift operator Wayne Steven Merrick was in trouble for what the Crown called
Qualified forklift operator Wayne Steven Merrick was in trouble for what the Crown called "prolific” drug dealing. FACEBOOK

Jail time for dad after what seemed like a 'bit of fun'

IT SEEMED like a harmless pursuit at the time.

But it became a drug problem lasting decades, an Ipswich man's barrister told a court.

Father of five, Wayne Steven Merrick, will spend Christmas in jail for crimes including trafficking the drug ice.

Merrick, 38, also pleaded guilty to supplying the opioid medication buprenorphine, and supplying a weapon.

A Crown prosecutor on Wednesday claimed at one point Merrick had faced "a hundred charges" of supply.

But at Brisbane Supreme Court, the Crown said Merrick supplied drugs to 28 people in 58 incidents.

"It was low level but prolific" offending worth $32,000-$34,000, the prosecutor said.

A supporter of Merrick's in the court's public gallery voiced doubt at those claims, exclaiming "What? He had nothing to do with it."

The court heard Merrick was busted last year after police targeted Collingwood Park drug dealers.

Merrick's defence counsel Malcolm Harrison said his client left home at 15.

"He's had a drug problem essentially since he was 16."

Mr Harrison said Merrick had "no idea of the serious consequences" of drug use, which initially "seemed like a bit of fun".

Justice James Douglas called ice a "corrosive" drug.

He said ice was now "almost universally" a factor in murder or manslaughter cases the courts dealt with.

Merrick was sentenced to four years and five months' jail.

He'd already spent 403 days in custody and Merrick's parole eligibility was set at May 22, 2019. -NewsRegional