‘Jail time made me deal drugs’
A SERIAL offender acquitted of the murder of a Gold Coast nightclub promoter has blamed his descent into drug trafficking via Facebook on the time he spent in custody awaiting trial for the killing.
Christopher James Cairns, 30, from Eagleby in Brisbane's Logan City, was sentenced on Friday to 5½ years' jail in the Brisbane Supreme Court, where he pleaded guilty to two counts of trafficking over 10 months in 2015 and 2016.
The court heard that Cairns - the son of a retired army officer - started selling ice, cannabis, ecstasy and steroids using Facebook just three months after he was acquitted of the murder of Tumara Cousins, who fell 31 storeys from a high-rise balcony five years ago.
Cairns admitted running a business selling drugs until November 2015, but was forced to stop when he was jailed for three months for drug possession. He immediately resumed business on his release in February 2016.
His barrister, Bernard Reilly, told the court "perhaps" Cairns only sold drugs because "he couldn't get a job" after spending two years in prison on remand awaiting trial for Cousins' murder.
During the trial, prosecutors argued that Cousins died in a $20,000 ice deal gone wrong, but Cairns' lawyers argued there was no proof he was at Cousins' apartment when he fell.
In court on Friday, Crown Prosecutor Brendan White said Cairns supplied drugs on "at least 40 occasions" to at least 22 named customers, as well as "a number of unidentifiable phone contacts".
He mostly supplied ice, but also sold cannabis, ecstasy and steroids.
Justice Glenn Martin told the court Mr Reilly suggested Cairns had "practically advertised on Facebook" that he was selling drugs.
"When you had a new product, you would contact your customers about it, sometimes using Facebook Messenger," Justice Martin said.
A previous court hearing heard that police found several selfies on Cairns' phone in which he was "holding large bundles of cash" and "lying on the floor surrounded by stolen firearms".
Other photos allegedly showed him pretending to flush cash down the toilet, and some selfies were posted on Facebook.
Cairns will be eligible for parole on April 12 next year.