Criminal Law News & Current Affairs

By Ben Aulich & Associates Ben Aulich & Associates


Urine test fail for man facing drug importing sentence

A Canberra man who pleaded guilty to importing a commercial quantity of drugs to his front door has admitted taking a banned drug weeks before being sentenced.

The solicitor for Christopher Walter Thorn, 38, said the “road to Damascus was a long one” after his client’s urine test on July 13 returned a positive result of methamphetamine.

Thorn had been on strict bail conditions since January and on May 14 pleaded guilty to one charge of importing a border controlled drug.

He had signed a package from someone he thought was a delivery man at his front door in October last year, accepting five kilograms of GBL, a liquid which is naturally converted by the body to the illicit drug GHB, or fantasy.

The man was an undercover member of the Australian Federal Police.

Thorn was charged, taken to court and held in custody. He told police the drugs were for personal use and he had been consuming GBL daily for 12 years.

Appearing in the ACT Magistrates Court on Saturday, Thorn was charged and admitted to one breach of bail.

Solicitor Peter Woodhouse said his client had made progress through drug rehabilitation with Arcadia House and now Directions, part of 15 bail conditions in place.

“It’s a hiccup, it’s a case of two steps forward and one step back,” he said.

While in custody prior to his January release, another two packages were intercepted, one containing 18 kilograms, and the other 1.9 kilograms.

One was destined for his home address and the other to a post office box in his name.

The total weight of GBL imported was 25 kilograms, far above the one kilogram that the law considers to be a commercial quantity.

An application for bail was not opposed by the prosecutor.

Magistrate Robert Cook said the the breach was a “blemish in what is a tight regime”.

He granted Thorn bail, with the defendant to appear before the ACT Supreme Court on July 29 for sentencing for the importation charge.
Credit: Matthew Raggatt, Canberra Times