Capricorn Correctional Centre at Etna Creek outside Rockhampton.
Capricorn Correctional Centre at Etna Creek outside Rockhampton. Chris Ison ROK190618cprison21

Man who 'found God' busted for smuggling drugs into prison

A MAN who found God in prison has been sent back to jail after being busted trying to sneak drugs inside.

Darren Bruce Difford, 51, and his co-accused Michael Craig Rogers, 40, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton District Court to one charge each of supplying a dangerous drug to a prison.

Difford's defence barrister, Tom Polley, said his client had turned his life around after being sentenced in 2001 for attempted murder after he and another co-accused set a person on fire.

When the victim attempted to extinguish the flames, they doused the person with petrol.

He said Difford found God in prison and had undertaken courses to go from being a "functional illiterate" to completing 15 of 24 subjects of human services university degree and starting a degree in theology.

Mr Polley said when Difford was released on parole in 2010, he met his now wife through church, retrained as a boilermaker and worked for Hastings Deering and at mines.

Difford, who was supported by his wife in court, lost his job two years ago and returned to drugs after a year of being unemployed.

Crown prosecutor Molly Mahlouzarides said phone calls between Difford and Rogers, who was serving time at Capricornia Correctional Centre, discussed drugs and named other prisoners before Difford tried to sneak drugs into the prison on June 10, 2017.

The pair had met in prison.

Ms Mahlouzarides said a police drug dog sniffed out a small package in Difford's armpit when he arrived at prison.

The package included 32 strips of 8mg of heroin substitute 'subbies' and four OxyContin tablets. The value of the drugs was between $8000 and $14,400.

Difford's DNA was found on an inner layer of the package.

Difford's co-offenderwho has a seven-page criminal history predominantly of drug offences is serving time for sending 3g of methamphetamine in the post from Mackay to Emerald and producing meth.

Rogers' defence barrister, Maree Willey, said Rogers had a transient childhood due to his father's job with the railways and had turned to drugs when he was 17 after his 14-year-old sister's sudden death.

Difford was sentenced to two years in prison with parole release on October 12, 2018.

Rogers, whose sentence is cumulative on the two he was already serving, was sentenced to 21 months, with parole eligibility on May 17, 2019.



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