Gladstone man in drug limbo brought to tears on trial
STRESS was clearly evident on the at-times tearful face of accused ice trafficker Scott James McClure as he went before a Gladstone court on serious drug charges.
McClure, 30, a Clinton spray painter, appeared in custody from prison via video link for an update of police charges alleging he trafficked in the dangerous drug methylamphetamine between September 2015 and February 25 this year; and possessed property suspected of use in a drug offence.
His case took an unexpected twist after police prosecutor Gavin Reece said investigating officers still had not finalised a brief of evidence against McClure.
He revealed that as with other accused drug offenders (arrested and charged as part of Operation North Oxbow) no briefs would be ready until June 6.
"It's more complicated as you ordered an affidavit (by police) to be filed with a reason for the delay and this has not occurred so I can't oppose bail," Mr Reece told magistrate Mark Morrow.
"Yes I would like bail. I just want to get back to work and the kids," McClure said, quickly grasping his opportunity of getting conditional liberty. He was refused bail in February following his arrest on the new charges.
Mr Morrow sought information about whether McClure had Supreme Court bail on serious but unrelated drug charges from 2014 that were yet to go before the higher court.
Defence lawyer Cassandra Ditchfield said it was the attitude of the Crown that the existing (older) drug matters "shouldn't be dealt with until these (new) matters are dealt with".
"None of the evidence overlaps. It is not the same players," she said.
"It is unfortunately unclear why the Crown (office of Director of Public Prosecutions) is taking that attitude as the alleged offending periods don't overlap."
With the court's frustration at the lack of a brief against McClure, Mr Morrow said he was prepared to grant bail but because McClure faced a separate trafficking charge before the Supreme Court he would have to report daily to Gladstone police, and have no contact with any of the co-accused.
Ms Ditchfield said his alleged co-accused was Garet Gerrard (charged with methylamphetamine trafficking).
McClure looked to be in some disbelief at the prospect he might get bail, asking if this was right.
Bail was granted but McClure must remain in custody until he makes a separate bail application before the Supreme Court on the older matters.
In a separate case drug accused Dale Chris Bauer, 46, was also granted bail by magistrate Morrow after police offered no brief of evidence. "You can't keep people in custody forever under the rule of law," Mr Morrow said.
He said he would not accept argument that it was best for Bauer to serve as much time now in custody.
Bauer is charged with more than 10 offences including a trafficking charge, possession of weapons and restricted drugs. Lawyer Stacey O'Gorman said he would defend the trafficking charge, saying allegations of texts and 'tick sheet' linking him to the man Gerrard was circumstantial. Bauer was bailed to live at Clinton and must report to police.