Strike Force Rupas: Beau Lawton pleads guilty to drug supply charges

GUILTY: Beau Lawton in 2012 during his court case for the Maitland assault.

GUILTY: Beau Lawton in 2012 during his court case for the Maitland assault.

A HIGH-RANKING member of a major criminal syndicate that flooded Newcastle and Lake Macquarie with ice and ecstasy is facing a maximum sentence of life imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to supplying nearly 900 grams of a drug known as MDA.

Beau Dean Lawton, 26, appeared in Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday via audio visual link from Long Bay Correctional Centre where he pleaded guilty to five offences, including supplying a large commercial quantity of MDA and an indictable quantity of methlyamphetamine, or ice. 

Lawton, who last had an address at Speers Point, was on the “second tier” in the hierarchy of the syndicate and used 24 different telephone numbers in five months during 2015, court documents state.

But Strike Force Rupas detectives were able to intercept tens of thousands of telephone conversations and text messages that revealed Lawton’s modus operandi for supplying drugs and then recovering the subsequent debts.

In one telephone call, Lawton tells a fellow syndicate member how he recouped $1450 from a customer. 

“I walked straight in, front kicked the c--- in the face… and then just dropped three knees straight into his head,” Lawton says.

“Then f---ing jabbed his mate in the face and threw them both down the stairs.”

Lawton, who has trained in boxing and mixed-martial arts, is no stranger to violence. He was 19 when he king-hit a man who was trying to break-up a fight in Maitland, leaving him permanently disabled.

After a lengthy delay, which included a successful appeal, Lawton was jailed for 14 months. But he came to police attention again in August, 2014, when detectives started pulling on the strings of the Hunter’s drug supply network. Police watched in May as Lawton supplied 55.7 grams, or about two ounces, of ice to a man in a Cooks Hill car park. After his arrest in September last year, police raided his home and found 893.7 grams of MDA hidden inside a wall cavity. 

Lawton will appear via audio visual link in Newcastle District Court on December 8 to set a sentence date.