An Albany man has been fined $1,400 for importing a banned euthanasia drug but has escaped having the conviction recorded.
Rupert John Ward, 68, pleaded guilty to importing six grams of pentobarbital, commonly known as Nembutal.
He was charged after raids by police of the homes of 12 members of euthanasia group Exit International earlier this year.
In sentencing, Magistrate Tanya Watt said she had discounted the fines which totalled $2,600 for related drug offences and recorded a spent conviction, so Ward could travel without a drug record.
Ms Watt took into account Ward's cooperation with police and his limited finances allowing him time to pay the fines from his pension.
She also took into account his clean record and his references that said he was a kind and gentle man.
She made reference to his troubled past and the anxiety he had experienced when police charged him for importing what he thought was a legal amount of Nembutal.
Ward had at first pleaded not guilty, but he later changed his plea when police identified the drug as being an illegal substance.
Ms Watt said she consequently viewed his plea as showing co-operation with authorities, and applied a 25 per cent discount to the fines.
Police had also charged Ward for possessing cannabis and drug paraphernalia which he said he used to help his anxiety.
Ms Watt she said she applied the fines because she wanted to deter Ward from possessing illegal drugs.
Ms Watt said Ward had potentially put the community at risk given the high number of burglaries committed by robbers looking for drugs.Ward allowed to travel to US for cryogenic freezing
Outside the court a relieved Ward said he had made a "big mistake" but he was thankful to the magistrate for not recording the five charges.
"My main concern was that all this stress would give me a heart attack," he said.
"That would be ironic, getting busted for a trace of Nembutal and ending up in a casket."
He said he wanted to travel to the US to investigate cryogenics and having a drug conviction would have prohibited that.
When asked why he had bought the drug when he was not terminally ill, Ward said it was a case of "having foresight".
"I mean the people who have the least, almost zero foresight, get into cars without seatbelts, I mean that's incomprehensible to me," he said.
"I'd rather just have the peace of mind knowing that I can avoid a long, drawn-out death."
He said he would purchase an end-of-life device from Exit International that was legal, and "stick it under the bed and forget about it".
He also said that Exit International had offered to pay the fine for the euthanasia drug.