Our client is a 30 year old Truck Driver from the South Coast of NSW.
Police observed a car that was double parked in the middle of street in the Sydney CBD, which they claimed is ‘well known for drug use and supply’
They conducted a vehicle enquiry through their Mobipol system to obtain the registration particulars of the car.
The enquiry suggested the vehicle was registered to a family member of an organised crime group, and that the member was previously convicted of drug supply.
Police approached the vehicle and saw four individuals inside. The owner and his associate were in the front seats, and our client and a television presenter in the back.
Police questioned each of the occupants, and our client disclosed that he was in possession of a quantity of cocaine. They searched our client and located a large resealable bag of cocaine down the front of his pants, two small bags of cocaine in his wallet, nearly $5,000 in cash and two mobile telephones.
They arrested and conveyed our client to the police station, where he participated in an interview and made certain admissions.
One of the phones in our client’s possession contained messages indicative of drug supply. Our client told police that this phone did not belong to him, but to one of the other occupants.
Our client was charged with drug supply due to the quantity of drugs in the large resealable bag and contents of the phone messages, and with proceeds of crime for the cash found on him.
Our defence team undertook a considerable amount of work establishing there was insufficient evidence to prove ownership of the phone and gathering evidence regarding duress.
Duress is when a person commits an offence because threats are made against them to such an extent that a reasonable person in their position would comply.
The case ultimately proceeded to a jury trial in Downing Centre District Court.
Once evidence of duress was raised, the prosecution made submissions that a serious threat of violence could not be established as our client was aware of the presence of police nearby. It was further submitted that the text messages suggesting supply were from our client, as other evidence suggested he was indeed the sender of those transmissions.
Our cross examination of the prosecution witnesses, including expert witnesses, supported by documents gathered by the defence completely defeated the prosecution’s ability to negative the defence of duress. It was a systematic and complete dismantling of the prosecution case which meant we did not need to put our client on the witness stand to testify and face cross examination.
In the result, the jury returned verdicts of not guilty for both charges, and the alleged proceeds of crime was refunded to our client.