Bathurst ice kingpin: ‘I am disgusted in myself’

 

A young father who lived a double life as the kingpin of an ice syndicate he ran with his fiancé in Bathurst is now sharing a prison cell with a twitching addict hooked on the drug, a court was told.

Aidan Hartnett, 24, and Erin Clayton, 22, funnelled massive amounts of meth onto regional NSW's streets from their modest home in West Bathurst where they lived with their two-year-old daughter before their arrests in March last year.

Aiden Hartnett and Erin Clayton, were two of six people arrested following investigations into an alleged drug supply syndicate in the central west.
Aiden Hartnett and Erin Clayton, were two of six people arrested following investigations into an alleged drug supply syndicate in the central west.

Police secretly recorded the couple complaining about "junkies coming here every f**king day" but on Friday Hartnett told Bathurst District Court that he was now in a cell with an ice addict while on remand.

"I've seen a lot of stuff since I've been in custody, I've just moved back to Bathurst (prison) and my 'celly' - he talks to himself, he's coming down, he twitches, it wasn't very good to see," Hartnett said.

"Seeing the things that some people have done because of this drug - I've seen a cousin stab his own cousin because he wouldn't give him ice (in prison).

"I'm disgusted in myself - I can't believe that I had anything to do with it."

Hartnett and Clayton had seemingly appeared like the perfect couple with their little daughter and posed for photos at Wiggles concerts before their world came crashing down.

Court documents say Hartnett sold 1505 grams of ice in just six months, worth at least $500,000 on the streets, before his arrest.

In court, he claimed he bought ice in ounces for $5200 and would on sell the drug for $5500, keeping $300 to fund his own addiction of almost a gram a day.

But prosecutor Phillip Lowe questioned this evidence and grilled in him in the dock.

"I put it to you the evidence about the amount of money you're making is false and wrong," Mr Lowe said to which Hartnett replied: "You're wrong".

Aiden Hartnett and Erin Clayton.
Aiden Hartnett and Erin Clayton.

Judge Graham Turnbull accepted there were questions over the true profit that Hartnett claimed he made while the syndicate was operating.

"There was an open conduit to bulk drugs in the Sydney area and over a two-month period there was regular distribution, sometimes daily," he said.

"I do consider that it's a serious matter and that there is in this community a real need for general deterrence … that is a matter that looms very large in my view".

The case was adjourned until November when Judge Turnbull will sentence Hartnett, who has pleaded guilty to large commercial drug supply.

Clayton, who was in court on Friday to support Hartnett, pleaded guilty to knowingly participating in a criminal group and received a 10-month intensive corrections order in Bathurst Local Court earlier this month.



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