A man jailed for drug trafficking and possessing firearms has had his sentence shortened on appeal, accompanied by a strong warning from the judge about his future.
Jesse Ruff, 23, was sentenced in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court earlier this year to two years and eight months' imprisonment, with a minimum of two years, for drug, driving and weapons offences.
The Epsom resident had pleaded guilty to two counts of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, dangerous driving while pursued by police, two counts of drug trafficking, two counts of driving while disqualified, theft, and dealing with the proceeds of crime.
Ruff was arrested in March last year, the day after police saw him speeding in reverse in Golden Square.
He was found with a firearm and drugs, and messages on his phone related to trafficking methamphetamine and ecstasy.
Police had also discovered a video of him holding a firearm.
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Ruff made a self-represented appeal in the County Court on Tuesday, in a bid to reduce his sentence.
In response to Judge Frank Gucciardo's questions, Ruff told the court he had been using drugs since his mid-teens, including cannabis and ice.
When asked about the firearms, Ruff said he "thought it was cool" but it was stupid.
"I don't have much to justify it, I was being an absolute d***head," he said.
The court heard Ruff had undertaken some drug rehabilitation programs while in custody, although the COVID-19 situation meant he had been unable to do any more in recent times.
Upon his release, Ruff said, he would like to get back into work with a former employer.
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Judge Gucciardo noted Ruff had an extensive list of prior convictions.
"For someone of your age to have 29 pages of priors, is quite frankly frightening," the judge said.
The judge found the sentence imposed by the magistrate was "inappropriate".
Judge Gucciardo resentenced Ruff to two years; imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 17 months.
Ruff has already served more than 14 months.
Judge Gucciardo said he based his decision on Ruff's youth and the desire to give him some opportunity for his rehabilitation.
He told Ruff that if he continued his offending he would repeatedly wind up in jail and "burn the best years of [his] life".
"The only way you're going to break that cycle is if you stay out of trouble," Judge Gucciardo said.
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