$25k buys Proser­pine man’s bail

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

THE wife of a 51-year-old Proser­pine man ar­rested af­ter the dis­cov­ery of an al­leged clan­des­tine drug lab on Jan­uary 24 has promised surety of $25k to fa­cil­i­tate her hus­band’s bail.

Peter Richard Clarke ap­peared in the Proser­pine Mag­is­trate’s Court on Mon­day via a tele­phone link-up from the Capri­cor­nia Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre where he was held in cus­tody fol­low­ing his ar­rest.

Clarke, who is fac­ing nine drug charges and three charges un­der the Weapons Act, was rep­re­sented in court by Bar­ris­ter Adrian Don­ald­son from the Gold Coast­based firm Gatenby Crim­i­nal Lawyers.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor El­iz­a­beth Cas­sells made an ob­jec­tion to bail but Mr Don­ald­son ar­gued that any risks could be suit­ably ad­dressed by con­di­tions.

He said Clarke had strong ties to the com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing a 100-acre prop­erty he owned with his wife, who was present in court and pre­pared to put up “sub­stan­tial surety”.

He also ar­gued that ten­ants had re­cently oc­cu­pied the build­ing where the lab, al- leged to have been man­u­fac­tur­ing am­phet­a­mines, was found. Fi­nally, Mr Don­ald­son used the com­par­a­tive of a case where an al­leged of­fender ac­cused of drug of­fences re­lat­ing to a quan­tity of heroin with a street value of $15.5mil­lion, was granted bail by the Supreme Court, thanks to the pro­vi­sion of surety and im­ple­men­ta­tion of strict con­di­tions.

Af­ter a short ad­journ­ment to cross­check his facts, mag­is­trate Haydn St­jern­qvist ruled that Clarke was not an un­ac­cept­able risk of fail­ing to ap­pear.

He also ruled that the risks of Clarke com­mit­ting fur­ther of­fences could be al­layed by bail con­di­tions in­clud­ing surety in the sum of $25k.

Clarke will also have to re­port to the Proser­pine Po­lice Sta­tion three times per week, re­side at his North Gre­gory ad­dress or one ap­proved by the pros­e­cu­tion, sur­ren­der his pass­port and not ap­proach within 100 me­tres of any in­ter­na­tional de­par­ture point.

Clarke’s 12 charges were listed for a com­mit­tal-men­tion on April 28.

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