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      Not Guilty of Drug Supply, Possess Housebreaking Implements and Proceeds of Crime charges

      Last week Astor Legal appeared at Blacktown Local Court in relation to 14 charges of Drug Supply, Proceeds of Crime and Possess Housebreaking Implements.

      On the day of the incident, our client was seated in his vehicle in a carpark. He was approached by an old acquaintance who started a conversation.

      A short time later police drove past and made eye contact with our client’s acquaintance. Police claimed that the acquaintance appeared startled when he made eye contact with police and then began running away.

      Our client drove out of the carpark after this. Police followed our client for a short time before stopping him. They claimed the purpose of the stop was for a random breath test (RBT). Plainly, this was not the case. We argued that police had used the RBT as a guise to stop the vehicle due to their suspicions and that there was in fact nothing ‘random’ about the stop.

      Following the stop, our client was questioned about his behaviour, why he was in the area and whether he had ever been in trouble with the police before. After hearing that our client had previously been to jail for break and enter offences as well as drug charges, police said they had a reasonable suspicion to search the vehicle.

      As a result of the search, police found significant amounts of cocaine and methylamphetamine as well as housebreaking implements and a large sum of cash. They also located a set of scales and resealable plastic bags with the drugs.

      Given our client’s criminal history, he would have received a significant term of imprisonment if he had been found guilty of the offences. He had gone to a number of other firms previously who had all told him to prepare for jail.

      However, we took a different view. In our opinion police had acted unlawfully in stopping the vehicle, questioning our client and then searching the vehicle.

      Under cross-examination at Blacktown Local Court the officers admitted that they had not made any attempt to locate our client’s acquaintance, had not kept a record of the results of the RBT nor made any mention of conducting an RBT in their statements. They also admitted that the true reason for the stop was due to the behaviour of the acquaintance in running away.

      Ultimately the Magistrate agreed with our submissions and found that the stopping the vehicle, questioning our client and then searching the vehicle were all unlawful. As a result all evidence obtained as a result of the search was excluded and all charges were dismissed.

      Our client and his mother were overjoyed at the result.

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