Businessman charged with drug offer on dating website

CHIEF Magistrate Ray Rinaudo has refused Tannum Sands businessman Garet Gerrard bail after he was charged with a new drug-supply offence.

Gerrard, 29, was on strict supreme-court bail at the time for an alleged offence of trafficking ice, methylamphetamine, when arrested on the new drug charge.

On June 2 he was granted supreme-court bail by Justice Peter Lyons on condition he enter rehabilitation.

Garet Gerrard (Facebook)
Garet Gerrard (Facebook)

In that successful application the court heard Gerrard allegedly dealt with tens of thousands dollars worth of meth.

In a special video link for the new bail application before Gladstone Magistrates Court, police prosecutor Darrell Dalton opposed bail over Gerrard's new charge of supplying a dangerous drug (methylamphetamine) on July 24.

In an affidavit before judge Rinaudo, Gladstone CIB officers accuse Gerrard of offering to supply a drug to a woman he was chatting to over an online dating website.

Police were also concerned he may interfere with witnesses.

Sgt Dalton said Gerrard (in an online intercept) referred to "$6500 for full", consistent with an ounce of methylamphetamine, and "$3500 for half", police alleging it was an offer to supply.

But Brisbane-based lawyer Alex Jones said it was not an offer to supply.

Mr Jones said Gerrard instructed the conversation had turned to drugs by the other person.

"He thought it was an attempt to make fun of his serious legal position at the time when on supreme court bail for trafficking", Mr Jones said.

"He quickly ended the conversation. He was angry, upset that this person was trying to make fun of him."

Mr Jones said police were "extremely thorough" in a search of Gerrard's home (his parents) including cars, laptops, mobile phones and found no drug paraphernalia.

"No suspicious chatter was found, no tick lists found. It adds weight to Mr Gerrard's contention it was not a serious conversation," Mr Jones said.

"It (conversation termination) was simply nothing more sinister than a foolish, ridiculous reaction to someone's attempt to embarrass him. And he now finds himself back in custody."

Mr Jones said Gerrard had been working extremely hard on his landscaping business while on "particularly onerous" bail conditions.

Judge Rinaudo refused bail, saying Gerrard was in a show-cause situation while on bail for a trafficking charge and an unacceptable risk if released.

"He has a history that demonstrates a course of conduct and previously had a five-year jail term for trafficking," he said.

Judge Rinaudo said it was likely a term of imprisonment would be imposed if found guilty and the strength of evidence against him strong, taken from an iPad that was found at another address.

He said while Gerrard's defence maintained the conversation was "no more than banter by someone who had a go at him," this would be resolved at his trial.



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