News State NSW News Dealer jailed after 19yo’s death

Dealer jailed after 19yo’s death

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A drug dealer who sold the ecstasy tablets that killed a young Sydney woman has been sentenced to a minimum 12 months in jail.

Matthew Forti, 19, pleaded guilty in May to supplying the MDMA pills that led to the death of Georgina Bartter, also 19, in November.

Ms Bartter took one-and-a-half pills at the Harbourlife festival, but within a few hours suffered an adverse reaction and later died in St Vincent’s Hospital from multiple organ failure.

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Forti had pleaded guilty to three drug supply offences and was sentenced in the NSW District Court today.

Prosecutor Chris Allison said: “It’s not a single, isolated incident of him supplying a prohibited drug.”

In June, Ms Bartter’s close friend Rebecca Hannibal received a 12-month good behaviour bond for supplying the ecstasy tablets.

The court today heard that when Forti learnt that Ms Bartter had died, he apologised to Hannibal.

But in January, he attended a party at Northbridge and committed further offences.

“He sold MDMA tablets at that party to a number of friends,” Mr Allison said.

The court heard he also made arrangements to sell drugs to friends at another music festival in February, before he was arrested.

The prosecutor accepted that Forti was a low-level dealer, but noted that he also supplied drugs to people other than his friends, when opportunity arose.

“By supplying prohibited drugs, the offender has endangered members of the community,” Mr Allison said.

Forti’s prospects for rehabilitation ‘better than good’

Defence barrister Garry Jauncey urged the court to consider alternatives to prison time.

“He’s been honest and frank to the police,” Mr Jauncey said.

“He’s made full admissions.”

Forti was described as a young man who had made rash decisions but had since completed a drug rehabilitation program.

“The prospects for rehabilitation are … better than good,” Mr Jauncey said.

“This is not a young man that the community is going to benefit from having incarcerated.”

But the sentencing judge said a custodial sentence was needed.

Judge Deborah Sweeney said Forti had “learnt a harsh lesson of the consequences of his behaviour”.

She set a maximum sentence of 22 months.

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