Queensland Court of Appeal says a steroid salesman raised some valid points - but not valid enough to overturn his sentence.
Queensland Court of Appeal says a steroid salesman raised some valid points - but not valid enough to overturn his sentence. John Weekes

Scholarly drug dealer objects to jail time for steroids

STEROID dealing should be treated differently in court from other drug deals, a jailed man has argued.

Alexander Stamatov was sentenced in Rockhampton Supreme Court in May to three years jail, eligible for parole after six months.

But he argued the judge in that case could have, and should have, made a distinction between the steroids Stamatov sold and others the law designated as dangerous drugs.

He did not dispute the three-year term but said he should be released already or his jail term suspended immediately.

Stamatov took his case to the Queensland Court of Appeal.

The appeal judgment, handed down on Friday, discussed issues including whether judges could distinguish between the harmfulness of steroids and other Schedule One drugs.

Schedule One drugs include methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, LSD and ecstasy/MDMA.

In April 2015, police raided Stamatov's home and found drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Police seized his phone and found text messages.

Texts showed that for about five months he "sold drugs to seven men who shared his interest in bodybuilding," the appeal court judgment said.

The texts indicated Stamatov possibly sold Schedule One drugs, but mostly trafficked steroids.

Stamatov, now in his early 30s, openly discussed steroid use with customers and shared his experiences, to help them figure out the best way to use steroids.

After being charged, he left Gladstone and moved to the Sunshine Coast.

He quickly acquired a graduate certificate in business administration and master of business administration.

After January 2017 he represented himself. The supreme court judge described him as "clearly an intelligent man".

But that judge also found Stamatov made a puzzling late guilty plea that brought into question his remorse.

The supreme court earlier heard Stamatov made little if any profit from drug deals.

Stamatov trafficked nandrolone, testosterone, trenbolone, sustanon 250, methamphetamine and MDMA.

The appeal court found the lower court was right not to distinguish between the "relative harm" of steroids and other drugs.

One reason for this was the "practically impossible task of reaching any informed view about the relative harm ... in the absence of a suitable and reliable evidentiary base."

The appeal court found Stamatov's appeal raised a question of some general importance, but the appeal against sentence was dismissed. -NewsRegional


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