Home and Away actor Putu Winchester-Stanton jailed for alleged cocaine trafficking seeks rehabilitation

A former Home and Away actor arrested for involvement with an alleged cocaine syndicate seeks bail so he can go to a rehabilitation center.

Putu Winchester-Stanton, 44, who rose to fame in the late 1990s as lovable class clown Dennis Klinsmann on the TV drama series Heartbreak High, is in a maximum security prison after he and several other men were arrested in April and charged with a string of drug offenses.

John Weller, Mr Winchester-Stanton’s lawyer, said Monday in Byron Bay Court that he would apply for bail for the star once entry to the Victory House rehabilitation facility in Tweed Heads on NSW’s far north coast could be organised.

Mr Weller said there had been a delay in Mr Winchester-Stanton’s request to attend the facility, according to the Courier Mail.

As a result, the prosecution requested that the case be adjourned in Lismore’s local court on September 15.

Putu Winchester-Stanton, 44, is likely to apply for bail to be released from the maximum security prison he is currently in to attend a rehabilitation center on the far north coast of NSW

Victory House offers a recovery program that it says will “help you beat/overcome drug and alcohol addiction and other life-limiting behaviors.”

“Our 12-month live-in rehabilitation program restores families and helps men overcome addiction forever!

Mr Winchester-Stanton is charged with, among other things, knowingly leading a criminal group, a number of charges of supplying cocaine and drug possession.

Aside from his breakthrough role in Heartbreak High, Winchester-Stanton also had minor acting performances in Home and Away – as a surfer named Pogo – and in Water Rats.

But years later, he said he was derailed after the deaths of both his parents and developed an addiction to cocaine — a chapter of his life he discussed with the Herald Sun on his prison phone in early July.

“My addiction started with a few drinks and having a queue, which turned into a big night, which turned into a big weekend, which turned into doing every night of my life,” he said.

Winchester-Stanton said that time in prison was excruciatingly slow and that he was often awakened every day by the sound of his cellmate lighting himself up.

He is checked by guards as part of the 8:15 am roll call, followed by lunch at 12:15 pm within the mundane four walls of his own cell.

Dinner is at a disturbing 5pm and the inmates are then locked in their cells for the rest of the night.

Weights and gym equipment are not offered, so inmates get creative by using shopping bags full of water or lifting each other up as a form of strength training.

Winchester-Stanton was one of seven men arrested after police raided homes on the north coast of NSW on April 22.

Police executed four search warrants at homes in Byron Bay, Bangalow and Mullumbimby and a business in Byron Bay.

Winchester-Stanton, of Mullumbimby, near Byron Bay on the far north coast of New South Wales, rose to fame for his time as the lovable class clown Dennis Klinsmann on the TV drama series Heartbreak High in the late 1990s

Winchester-Stanton, of Mullumbimby, near Byron Bay on the far north coast of New South Wales, rose to fame for his time as the lovable class clown Dennis Klinsmann on the TV drama series Heartbreak High in the late 1990s

The father speaks every day with his girlfriend (pictured together) while behind bars while being accused of drugs

The father speaks every day with his girlfriend (pictured together) while behind bars while being accused of drugs

The officers reportedly seized 340 grams of cocaine, $25,000 in cash and crime proceeds.

He said he didn’t realize the extent of his drug addiction until he was locked up in his cell, and admitted he had now lost the ‘coke bloat’.

The 44-year-old said that thanks to his role in Heartbreak High at just 18 years old, he was quickly pushed into the world of partying and fame and became a “party animal” soon enough.

“If you’re young and impressionable and taken by the hand in the television world and are a pseudo-celebrity, cocaine goes very well with that,” he said.

Winchester-Stanton was born in Bali, grew up in Bondi and moved to Byron after his big break with Heartbreak High came to an end in 1999.

His mother was an actress, but then died of a brain tumor.

His father had become violent after a motorcycle accident that forced Winchester-Stanton and his mother to flee Bali and move to Sydney.

Winchester-Stanton was charged with 10 offenses, including supplying a commercial quantity of a banned drug

Winchester-Stanton was charged with ten offenses, including supplying a commercial quantity of a banned drug

Winchester-Stanton was born in the back of a three-wheeled bemo taxi in Bali on New Year's Eve 1976. His first name, pronounced 'poo-too', means firstborn

Winchester-Stanton was born in the back of a three-wheeled bemo taxi in Bali on New Year’s Eve 1976. His first name, pronounced ‘poo-too’, means firstborn

At his mother’s wake, Winchester-Stanton’s father appeared as a surprise.

He had developed an alcohol problem and began to behave aggressively towards his son, prompting Winchester-Stanton to defend himself by punching his father in the face.

His father fell backwards and hit his head on the pavement, putting him in an artificial coma from which he would never wake up.

Winchester-Stanton went through a nine-month legal saga before being acquitted of any wrongdoing in his father’s death – a nightmare that sparked his drug addiction.

‘I drank every day and used coke every day. I drank until I just couldn’t take it anymore,” he said.

In prison, he said he is able to talk to his 18-year-old son and chat with his girlfriend every day.

The 44-year-old is seen with his partner.  He admitted he didn't realize the extent of his cocaine addiction until he was sent to prison gevangenis

The 44-year-old is seen with his partner. He admitted he didn’t realize the extent of his cocaine addiction until he was sent to prison gevangenis

Police raided four properties in northern NSW in April

Police raided four properties in northern NSW in April

But it’s a world away from a life he once lived.

Winchester-Stanton was born in the back of a three-wheeled bemo taxi in Bali on New Year’s Eve 1976. His first name, pronounced ‘poo-too’, means firstborn.

His big break from entertainment came when he accompanied his mother, an actor, to an audition for Heartbreak High and was offered a part.

In 2010, Winchester-Stanton and a group of friends were thrown into a filthy Papua New Guinea prison after being arrested on suspicion of drugs in Bougainville in March 2000.

PNG police armed with assault rifles had stormed a yacht the group was sailing on during a surf trip after receiving a tip that half a kilogram of cannabis was on board.

The men, dubbed the Perenti Five after the hunt, spent a weekend in a cramped Buka prison cell next to murderers and rapists before being released on bail.

All five men pleaded not guilty to drug charges and were ultimately found not guilty and returned to Australia after more than a month of uncertainty.

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