Court slams ‘lying’ witnesses

A TAMWORTH man has been jailed for dealing ecstasy after a magistrate accused him and a list of witnesses of lying to the court.

Magistrate Roger Prowse said Kahlan Duncan’s account of supplying only synthetic ecstasy was “absolutely unmitigated dribble”.

And he didn’t hold back against a number of witnesses who’d taken to the stand during the case, describing their evidence as “utterly and highly unbelievable”.

“That those people can come to this court ... and lie through their teeth ... beggars belief,” Magistrate Prowse said in sentencing.

Duncan’s first run-in with police was on the Fossickers Way at Barraba on May 12 last year, when he was stopped by Oxley Highway Patrol.

A sports bag containing several resealable bags raised police suspicions before they honed in on Duncan’s phone, which left a trail of evidence of supplying drugs.

Police prosecutor Matthew Price picked apart Duncan’s evidence using a collection of text messages from more than 1200 found on his phone that the prosecution said were references to the supply of ecstasy tablets.

During a two-day hearing, Sergeant Price probed several witnesses who were implicated in the text messages about their knowledge of Duncan’s criminal activity.

Throughout the case, the prosecution remained firm on their argument that Duncan was supplying the pills to various people throughout Tamworth over several months, citing numerous drug references, such as the term “roundies”, used in the text messages.

Duncan, who pleaded not guilty, maintained he was only dealing friends synthetic drugs – which, at the time he was caught, were legal. 

He told the court he didn’t believe he had “done anything wrong”.

But Magistrate Prowse disagreed.

“That’s unmitigated rubbish, because he knew what they were,” he told the court.

“To put any other construct on those text messages would be to abandon common sense.”

The former naval chef shook his head throughout the sentencing, while his family sobbed in the back of the courtroom.

“You were actively holding yourself out,” Magistrate Prowse said of supplying ecstasy.

“You were doing it for money ... it was a commercial operation.”

Solicitor Jason Curtis said the rugby league player’s “life has improved” since this activity, but admitted they were serious offences.

“He is a relatively young man with good prospects of rehabilitation,” he said. 

He said his client had close family connections and wanted to pursue a university degree.

Magistrate Prowse said Duncan’s account was “wholly unbelievable” and sentenced him to 12 months behind bars, with an eight-month non-parole period.

“He gave the game away when he identified them to Senior Constable Clavel at the roadside as ecstasy,” Magistrate Prowse said.

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