A FRAIL pensioner, who claimed he was bashed by standover men and forced to smuggle drugs into a Queensland women's jail, is now himself behind bars.
Wilfred Josef Schanz, 64, was sentenced in Brisbane District Court on Friday to two and a half years in jail for repeatedly supplying drugs to a prisoner at Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre.
The woman had been in a share house with Schanz at Beenleigh before she was locked up.
Crown Prosecutor Victoria Trafford-Walker said the woman instructed Schanz to speak with 23 of her drug contacts and organised supplies to the jail at least four times between July and August, 2015.
On one of those occasions, Schanz was busted with buprenorphine (an opiate often used by heroin addicts) which he had strapped to his body.
Ms Trafford-Walker said more than 50 coded phone calls between Schanz and others regularly identified two dangerous drugs which were to be taken into the jail but it was unclear which drugs they were.
She said Schanz's long traffic history was evidence of his "long standing attitude to the law and continued disobedience” and called for a sentence which reflected the seriousness of a mature man who made concerted efforts to contribute to the "insidious drug culture”.
Defence barrister Debra Wardle said her client felt "trapped” by the drug dealers and runners who she said had beaten him and put dints in his car in the lead-up to the offending.
Describing Schanz as the "goose who walks into the correctional centre and wears all the risk”, Ms Wardle said her client was simply a "middle man” who would be picked up by the woman's contacts, "bandaged up” with the drugs and sent in to make the delivery.
She said her client, who got around by mobility scooter and was being tested for cancer, previously ran a successful pool business and had a clean record until his late 50s when he "lost everything” in the global financial crisis.
She also said Schanz's arrest had cause him reflect on how his life had "fallen apart” in recent years and had tried to stay away from drugs by focussing on fishing and spending time with his beloved pet dog which he had to leave in someone else's care.
But Judge Michael Rackemann said while there may have been "other Mr Bigs” pulling the strings, Schanz played a "substantial” role in the criminal enterprise.
"You may have involved yourself at (the woman's) urging...and you had some fear of her drug contacts but you ultimately involved yourself both deeply and voluntarily,” Judge Rackemann said
"Not only only are drugs a scourge on our community, but the supply of drugs within a prison environment strikes at the heart of discipline in the prison system.
"It shows disdain for the law and can only make it difficult to achieve rehabilitation of those prisoners.”
Schanz will have to serve 10 months in jail before he is released on parole.
- ARM NEWSDESK
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