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Bunbury men Aaron Lotti and Finian Demou placed on pre-sentence order over drug dealing offences

Headshot of Carly Laden
Carly LadenSouth Western Times
Two young Bunbury men have been given an opportunity to further distance themselves from drug use and drug dealing after being convicted of having MDMA with intent to sell or supply to others.
Camera IconTwo young Bunbury men have been given an opportunity to further distance themselves from drug use and drug dealing after being convicted of having MDMA with intent to sell or supply to others. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

Two young Bunbury men have been given an opportunity to further distance themselves from drug use and drug dealing after being convicted of having MDMA with intent to sell or supply to others.

Aaron Luke Lotti, 22, and Finian Theodore Demou, 21, appeared in Bunbury District Court on Thursday, September 1 where they were placed on a 12-month pre-sentence order, allowing them to take part in supervision and relevant programs to rehabilitate themselves from drug use.

Both men were convicted of possessing almost 10g of MDMA with intent to sell or supply. Demou was also convicted of possessing cocaine with intent to sell or supply and possessing $465 cash that was suspected to have been unlawfully obtained.

The court was told on Monday, August 29 police conducted a search on the pair’s Australind home during the morning of March 26 last year while both men were present.

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In a search of Demou’s bedroom, officers uncovered six clip-seal bags containing various quantities of cocaine, totalling 1.67g, along with a backpack that had further clip-seal bags containing capsules or MDMA in powder form, which totalled 9.96g.

A steel straw, a set of scales, a green notebook containing a record of sales were also found in the backpack, as well as $465 cash, which Demou initially claimed was from the sale of car parts.

Police also uncovered messages on Lotti’s mobile phone alluding to dealing in various illicit substances such as MDMA, cannabis, mushrooms and cocaine.

It was understood the MDMA that was seized was jointly possessed by both men while Demou admitted to possessing the cash and cocaine.

The court was also told Lotti admitted to police he was drug dealing in a joint venture with Demou.

In submissions, Lotti’s defence counsel Michael Devlin said his client got involved in drug use and eventually drug dealing with then-housemate Demou in 2020 but had since ceased illicit substance use and moved back home with his family.

Demou’s defence counsel Paul Chapman told the court his client’s offending was a case of being “young and dumb” and was self-medicating with illicit substances after going through a period of poor mental health while he was unemployed at the time of offending.

The court was also told Demou had also since ceased illicit substance use and obtained employment.

In sentencing on Thursday, September 1, District Court Judge John Prior said while both men were young in the eyes of the law and had limited criminal records, the offending was “commercially motivated”.

“What police found suggests you were making money rather than simply supplying it to your friends,” he said.

“This is serious offending due to its commercial motivation.

“However, I want to give each of you an opportunity to rehabiltate yourselves before being sentenced.”

Both men will next appear in the District Court for a progress hearing in December.

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