An eastern suburbs cocaine dealer has been jailed after his jilted ex-lover set him up in a police sting following the break-up of their volatile sexual relationship.
In April 2009, Andrew Lipton, a former stock broker, met his lover, MB, in Centennial Park Cafe and was introduced to an undercover police officer posing as a drug dealer called Sam.
A few days later, Sam bought nearly 2000 ecstasy tablets and an ounce of cocaine.
Over the next month, Lipton sensed something was not right about the steadily increasing drug buys, which peaked when Sam wanted what amounted to a kilogram of cocaine.
Police telephone intercepts and text messages tendered to the District Court highlighted Lipton's suspicions about Sam, but MB, who unbeknown to him had turned police informer, repeatedly assured him everything would be fine.
On May 21, 2009, Lipton supplied 30 ounces (a kilogram) of cocaine for $240,000 to Sam, who then arrested him. It was Lipton's biggest drug deal and his last. He has been in Parklea jail since.
Lipton pleaded guilty in November 2009, but his legal representative, Peter Hastings, QC, argued the transactions would not have taken place without the enticement of MB.
The sentencing was delayed for a series of legal debates and appeals until earlier this month.
The District Court Judge Michael Finnane said he took into account Lipton was set up by MB in this ''very unusual '' case.
''Her reasons for doing this are not entirely clear. It may be, as Mr Hastings has submitted, that she was motivated by revenge but I am not at all clear what it was that caused her to become angry with the offender,'' he said.
''Evidence presented at the hearing convinces me that the relationship [with MB] was a strongly sexual one, which degenerated into bitterness and separation.''
Lipton has a ''rather steely demeanour,'' he said. ''I also accept that he had a passionate and difficult relationship with MB.''
''[In] his meetings with the undercover police officer, he expressed misgivings and a certain amount of distrust. It was obvious that he felt concerned that this might be a police trap,'' he said.
Judge Finnane described Lipton as a ''highly intelligent and well educated'' former share trader who returned from Melbourne to Sydney after the global financial crisis and who, despite ''dressing well and driving a nice motorcar'', still lived at home. While Judge Finnane acknowledged Lipton would not have made the deal without the encouragement of MB, he was a supplier of cocaine to a number of people.
''There is no doubt, however, in my mind that he would not have embarked on the providing of 30 ounces of cocaine except for the fact that the officer sought that amount of cocaine.
''That means that these offences should receive a serious sentence in each case but that sentence should be somewhat ameliorated,'' he said.
Lipton is eligible for parole on November 20 next year, having already served three years in jail, with some time in maximum security.
Morning & Afternoon Newsletter