A reformed ex-bikie says he dropped his bundle and turned to drugs after the break-up of his marriage, but says life is now going well.
Mark Balsillie, a former sergeant-at-arms for the Mongols, is now planning his wedding to his new partner and has formed a friendship with his former wife.
Both women provided character references that helped Balsillie avoid prison time on Monday.
The 35-year-old will instead have to undergo treatment for his mental health and drug addictions as well as community work after police found cocaine stashed around his kitchen, including in a cereal box.
All up there was 130g of white powder found in his Melbourne home during a search by officers in July 2020 - and while short of a commercial quantity it was a significant trafficable amount, County Court Judge Robert Brookes said.
The stash was found in ziplock bags hidden throughout his kitchen, and on a ceramic plate in the oven. The biggest amount was poorly disguised in a Just Right cereal box in the pantry.
His method of hiding the drugs was simplistic to say the least, Judge Brookes said.
Balsillie pleaded guilty to trafficking cocaine, as well as possession of testosterone and human growth hormone.
The court heard he had initially started using cocaine for pain management after being shot in October 2017 and became dependent by 2018, around the time his marriage ended.
By the time of his arrest he was using 2g daily.
He told a psychologist he "dropped my bundle" after the separation and had become hyper-vigilant and over-cautious after being shot. No one has ever been charged over the shooting.
He admitted he had been living a reckless lifestyle at the time of his arrest and trafficking cocaine to support his dependency.
But since then he has started a new relationship, and he and his partner plan to marry in November.
He has stopped having flashbacks about the shooting and has formed a friendship with his former wife, supporting her with an ongoing medical condition.
"Overall, life is going well," Balsillie said.
Judge Brookes said Balsillie had convictions for significant violence in the past and had spent periods in prison, but added he was no longer involved with the Mongols or any similar clubs.
Balsillie was convicted and placed on a community corrections order for three years.