To be found guilty of supplying a prohibited drug the accused must knowingly take part in the supply of the drug. A person is found guilty of possession if they knowingly possessed a prohibited substance. Any attempt to deliver or delivery of any item to an inmate without lawful authority is an offence of itself under s27E(2)(a) of the Summary Offences Act 1988 (NSW).
Our client had more than 5 grams of heroin on his person at the time of the offence. Schedule 1 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1995 (NSW) stipulates that this is an “indictable quantity”. Because of the amount of heroin on our client he is liable to harsher penalties than would otherwise apply. This included a possible term of imprisonment, large fine or both.
Our client lived in Victoria and was the primary carer for his incapacitated partner. Our client was visiting Sydney as his daughter was pregnant and due to have her baby. Our client’s ex-wife was also in Sydney and our client had not seen her in 8 years. Our client was contacted by his ex-wife who told him to visit her son (his step-son) in jail because he was lonely.
Given the circumstances our client agreed to the visit and spoke to his step-son over the phone. As our client was unsure how to get to the prison his step-son advised him to go with his friends so they could go together.
Our client then proceeded to meet up with two of his step son’s friends at a train station. His step-son’s friends were waiting in a car to head to the prison. When they arrived our client’s step-son’s friends asked him to take three balloon shaped packages to him in the prison. Our client was informed there were mobile phones in the packages.
Our client then placed the packages down the front of his pants and took them into the prison. At the prison he then completed the relevant visitor’s paperwork and went through prison security. During the security screening process our client was caught with the packages on him. The packages contained the following:
- 1 x container of Heroin;
- 3 x mobile phones;
- 3 x sim cards;
- 3 x mobile phone batteries; and
- 3 x mobile phone cable charges.
Conduct and outcome of the case
When this matter was presented at trial we advised the jury that our client believed he was smuggling mobile phones and not drugs into the prison. We informed the court that this belief was held on the basis that he was only told about the mobile phones and not the drugs. As he was not told the drugs were on his person we argued it was reasonable for our client to believe he did not possess Heroin.
The prosecutor’s case was deficient as they were unable to prove our client knew he was in possession of Heroin. Our client was then found “not guilty” of the drug charges. Despite this it was illegal for our client to deliver mobile phones to an inmate without the appropriate authority. For this act our client was found guilty of the lesser charge of delivering or attempting to deliver a thing to an inmate without authority.
This offence resulted in our client receiving an 18 month good behaviour bond pursuant to section 9 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW). Should our client be convicted of a crime during this period he would be subject to harsher penalties than would otherwise apply. Given that our client was facing a possible term of imprisonment this was a good outcome.
It was our ability to identify deficiencies in the prosecution’s case which lead to this outcome. As we exclusively practice Criminal Law we have experience in these types of matters. Accordingly we are able to identify any deficiencies in the prosecution’s case. This provides you with greater prospects of success for your matter.
By retaining quality legal representation our client was able to avoid a term of imprisonment. This case illustrates how obtaining us as your representation may significantly improve your quality of life. George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers travel to all courts in New South Wales. Contact our Criminal Lawyers today.