Author: Phillip Gibson
Goulburn Local Court
Represented by Solicitor: Phillip Gibson, Accredited Specialist Criminal Law
Case Facts: Police pulled over our client in his car – his licence was suspended at the time. They searched the car and found some re-sealable bags of cannabis under the front seat. The cannabis weighted approximately 30 grams which is the small quantity.
In the boot of the car, they were shown a bag of cannabis that was wet and rotting. As one officer later described it – “it was rubbish – you couldn’t use it for its original purpose even with a blow torch”. The weight of the drug was 690 grams which is a traffickible quantity. Police bail refused the client – although we did not act for him at that time. We subsequently received instructions to act and made a further bail application and secured his release. The client pleaded not guilty to drug supply and pleaded guilty to driving while suspended.
Case Result We obtained a certificate under section 128 Evidence Act to protect our client from self incrimination for an offence that he had not been charged with so that he could freely tell the truth about where the rotting cannabis came from. It was grown (cultivated) by him, but turned out to be of such poor quality that he threw it in a bag and into the boot of his car so that his parents did not find it at home. He forgot it was there. The supply charge was dismissed. He then pleaded guilty to drug possession.
In our opinion, given the weight of the drugs and the fact that our client had no prior criminal record, he should never have been refused bail. The fact that he had spent time in prison was taken into account and ultimately the client received the benefit of section 10 for both offences.
A conviction would have resulted in our client being precluded from pursing his career. He was delighted with the outcome.