Dying woman dealt drugs from home

A 64-YEAR-OLD woman with severe emphysema was caught trafficking methylamphetamines from her home while hooked up to an oxygen tank for 18 hours a day and may spend some of the last years of her life behind bars, a court heard yesterday.

Police found stashes of cash totalling $8455 at the Tanilba Bay home of Rhona Roby on December 8, 2010, along with just over six grams of methylamphetamine and drug-dealing paraphernalia, including three sets of electronic scales.

Roby had $2370 hidden in the top of her wardrobe, $5000 tucked into a tissue box on the dining room table, and some drugs stashed in a plastic pink soap container beside the tissues.

During sentencing submissions yesterday  the Newcastle District Court was told that Roby has served two previous jail terms for drug supply after a conviction in 1993 involving 275grams of methylamphetamines, and 40grams of heroin; and a conviction in 2002 over the supply of 40grams of methylamphetamine.

She was scaling back, her defence counsel said, but was still struggling with her own drug addiction and serious health issues with a one in four chance of dying before she turns 68.

But, Director of Public Prosecutions solicitor John Outram said despite her health issues Roby continued to work as a trafficker for profit. 

‘‘There might have been six grams there on the day but she was operating an ongoing business,’’ he said.

Judge Peter Maiden stood the matter over to Wednesday for sentence. 

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