Ex-con­struc­tion boss ap­peals bail re­fusal

Taranaki Daily News - - News - Deena Coster

A for­mer Taranaki con­struc­tion boss fac­ing se­ri­ous drug charges is chal­leng­ing a judge’s de­ci­sion not to grant him bail.

Yes­ter­day, Lauch­lan James MacMil­lan ap­pealed to the High Court against a Novem­ber 22 ju­di­cial rul­ing which de­nied him re­lease from cus­tody.

MacMil­lan, the for­mer li­censee of Fowler Homes Taranaki, has been in cus­tody since his ar­rest in Oc­to­ber af­ter a se­ries of

drug raids in the re­gion.

He has pleaded not guilty to a num­ber of charges, in­clud­ing sup­ply­ing metham­phetamine and pos­sess­ing the class A drug along with con­spir­acy to deal it.

The most se­ri­ous of these charges, sup­ply­ing metham­phetamine, car­ries a life term of im­pris­on­ment.

MacMil­lan has made two pre­vi­ous at­tempts for bail but both ap­pli­ca­tions were de­clined by a New Ply­mouth District Court judge.

Dur­ing the High Court hear­ing, MacMil­lan’s lawyer, An­drew Lau­ren­son, ar­gued for his client’s re­lease to a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre in Whanganui but this was op­posed by Crown pros­e­cu­tor Ja­cob Bourke. MacMil­lan’s daugh­ter was in court to ob­serve the hear­ing but the ac­cused did not ap­pear. He is on re­mand at Whanganui prison. Fol­low­ing sub­mis­sions, Jus­tice Robert Dobson re­served his de­ci­sion on the bail is­sue.

MacMil­lan is due to reap­pear in the New Ply­mouth District Court on Jan­uary 31 for a case re­view. He has elected trial by jury, but a date for this hear­ing is not likely un­til 2020.

MacMil­lan, who used to own the award-win­ning com­pany, had his li­cence to use the Fowler brand ter­mi­nated last month and his com­pany was placed into liq­ui­da­tion on Novem­ber 9.

An ini­tial re­port has as­sessed the for­mer com­pany had li­a­bil­i­ties of $1.2 mil­lion and liq­uida­tors are seek­ing to re­cover about $500,000 from MacMil­lan.

Lauch­lan James MacMil­lan

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