Former chef jailed for drug trade ‘storeman’ role

A FORMER high-flying head chef in Cairns is now serving a maximum of 8½ years in jail after becoming embroiled in the region's drug trade.

Brenton Wayne Keith Harrington appeared in the Supreme Court in Cairns on Tuesday, pleading guilty to eight counts of possessing a dangerous drug after police searched his premises in December 2018 and May 2019.The court heard the 35-year-old was living at a granny flat in Aeroglen when police found massive quantities of drugs and cash on the second occasion.

About 1.3kg of the drug ice, 320g of cocaine, 6g of LSD and a small amount of MDMA were found hidden in various parts of the premises, including in vacuum bags and inside a dictionary disguised as a safe.

While he never profited commercially from the large quantities, he was rewarded with drugs for personal use in his role as "storeman".

The former head pastry chef used his role to feed his drug addiction.

On Tuesday, Justice Peter Applegarth said the kind of drug quantity he possessed "deserved punishment" because

"The drug trade relies upon people to store drugs for the people who profit most from their sales," he said.

However, the judge acknowledged Harrington was a "hapless foot soldier" preyed upon by drug dealers.

With a non-parole period of 30 months and having served about 16 months in custody pre-sentence, Harrington will be eligible for parole in November 2021.

Originally published as Former chef jailed for drug trade 'storeman' role