Ex-sailor on drug charge avoids conviction


A former Royal Australian Navy sailor who arranged for the importation of illegal drugs from China has been ordered to be of good behaviour on a charge described as stale by a judge.

Almost four years after the offence, Martin Allen Baker, 29, from Hobart, pleaded guilty in the Tasmanian Supreme Court to importing a marketable quantity of the illegal drug methcathinone in 2012, just months after his discharge from the Defence Force on mental health grounds.

"The charge is a stale one. The circumstances call for leniency. I have therefore decided not to impose a conviction, but to discharge Mr Baker upon him entering into a recognisance to be of good behaviour for two years," Chief Justice Alan Blow said, noting that Baker lost more than $1000 importing the drugs which were seized by Australian Federal Police.