Ex-construction boss appeals bail refusal
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