Sydney property developer and socialite Matthew James Doyle to appeal sentence for cocaine plot

Asia's Tech News Daily

A former Sydney property developer who moved in some of the city’s most exclusive circles will appeal his jail sentence for being busted in an undercover police sting over a mammoth international cocaine plot.

Matthew James Doyle was facing a life sentence after pleading guilty to commercial drug supply and dealing with more than $500,000 in the proceeds of crime following his arrest in 2019.

Last year Doyle, 33, was sentenced to a maximum of eight years in prison with a non-parole period of five years, a term he is now set to challenge in the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Sydney property developer and socialite Matthew James Doyle to appeal sentence for cocaine plot

Camera IconMatthew James Doyle with his wife Kelsea, who were movers and shakers in this city’s social scene. Credit: News Corp Australia

The appeal will be mentioned in the court on October 28 before returning for hearing in March 2022.

He has already served more than two years in jail since his sentence was backdated to the day he was taken into custody on September 4, 2019. He will be eligible for parole in September 2024.

At sentencing his barrister, Phillip Boulten SC, had argued for leniency based on the fact the 300kg of drugs Doyle intended to receive never actually existed.

The District Court heard Doyle had been unknowingly plotting a major drug importation with undercover police operatives from the plan’s inception at a meeting in Los Angeles in April 2019.

Doyle, an entrepreneur from Sydney’s south, told the operatives he was willing to take “tonnes” of product.

“As I said to you, I’m not a gangster, I’m a businessman,” the court heard he told them.

“You know I love money. I like making money and I like making friends.”

Sydney property developer and socialite Matthew James Doyle to appeal sentence for cocaine plot

Camera IconDoyle was 31 when he was arrested. Credit: News Corp Australia

The plan became that Doyle would be the Australian touchstone for a cocaine shipment of up to 300kg, for which he paid a $220,000 deposit before being asked to fork out another $300,000.

After months of negotiations and reassurances that he was willing to take on the cocaine, the then 31-year-old and two friends were arrested when they arrived at a Marrickville warehouse to collect the goods.

They had taken possession of 50kg of what was actually an inert powder wrapped in duct tape and stamped with Hollywood star signs.

Sydney property developer and socialite Matthew James Doyle to appeal sentence for cocaine plot

Camera IconKelsea Doyle, wife of Matthew Doyle, leaving his sentencing. She is not accused of any wrongdoing. NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw Credit: News Corp Australia

In sentencing Doyle, Judge Penny Hock said the father-of-one had been motivated by greed and the fact he had been caught in a ruse did not reduce the seriousness of his offending.

She described him as the principal participant who had recruited his friends Jared Hart and Raoul Kesby.

Hart, who the court heard was seeking “easy money” in order to pay off a $60,000 tax debt, was jailed for a minimum of three years and two months.

Kesby, the “least involved” of the three, was jailed for a non-parole period of two years and 10 months.

Both men also pleaded guilty to supplying a commercial quantity of prohibited drugs.

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