Strike Force Boikonumba: Paul Andrew Allan of Westdale denied bail in Tamworth court on drug supply charges

Under guard: An officer at the door of the property in Westdale during the raid in February. Photos: Breanna Chillingworth
Under guard: An officer at the door of the property in Westdale during the raid in February. Photos: Breanna Chillingworth

THE man who detectives claim is the ringleader of a Tamworth drug ring has been denied bail, despite arguing he wasn’t getting treatment for diabetes in prison.

Paul Andrew Allan asked, “how long do I have to sit in here?" after he was denied bail in Tamworth Local Court, charged with five offences including commercial drug supply, dealing with the proceeds of crime and participating in a criminal group.

He’s alleged to have supplied more than 32kg of cannabis and, if found guilty, he faces up to 15 years behind bars.

“You can’t even see a doctor in here,” he said, appearing via video link from Mid North Coast Correctional Centre.

The court heard Allan, one of several charged as part of a secret Oxley police operation code-named Strike Force Boikanumba, had been behind bars since his arrest in February on the Central Coast.

THE BAIL APPLICATION

The court heard Allan, aged in his early-50s, had a “limited record in terms of convictions” but suffered from “diabetes, among some other diagnoses”.

A solicitor for Allan lodged the bid for release, claiming her client was receiving his medication in custody “sporadically” and “sometimes his diabetes medication would not turn up”.

Five raids: Officers at the Higgins Lane property in Oxley Vale where drugs were seized - one of five locations searched.

Five raids: Officers at the Higgins Lane property in Oxley Vale where drugs were seized - one of five locations searched.

She said her client’s appointments with prison doctors had been cancelled three times in as many weeks because of prison lock-ins or other jail emergencies.

“Mr Allan does have a very concerning medical history,” she told the court, adding his “health has deteriorated drastically” in custody.

THE CROWN ARGUMENT

But DPP solicitor Isabella Maxwell-Williams said show cause – the test that Allan needed to show why his detention was not justified – had not been made out.

She served new evidence on the defence before court, namely new telephone intercepts, that were part of the case against Allan.

Information, she said, showed that “the accused was engaged in very unhealthy habits while at liberty”, including the daily consumption of alcohol.

Ms Maxwell-Williams argued Allan had seen a nurse on eight occasions while he’d been in custody.

She said the alleged offending “arises out of an ongoing enterprise” involved in the “sale, production, importation and exchange of cannabis”.

“He was the head of the Tamworth part of that network,” she said, arguing he was the “principal offender” whose “criminality is the highest”.

READ MORE:

She said the network had links to upper levels of other networks in Sydney and across NSW, and the “offending essentially involved sourcing bulk amounts of cannabis”.

Ms Maxwell-Williams said the case included evidence that “directly implicates” Allan and surveillance that showed the “accused being caught red-handed in the exchange of drugs”.

“The Crown case against the accused is overwhelming,” she said.

Police raid: An officer patrols the Green Street house in Coledale during February's search.

Police raid: An officer patrols the Green Street house in Coledale during February's search.

The court heard Allan could report daily to police, not contact co-accused including his brother, and live with family in Westdale – the very home raided by police.

The court was told a family member had just been released  to live there, on parole for drug and gun supply, and the house had also been frozen as an asset by the crime commission as part of the police investigation.

“The Crown does not say or accept that this is an acceptable residence,” Ms Maxwell-Williams said.

THE BAIL DETERMINATION

Magistrate Julie Soars said “those health conditions are concerning”, and had been exacerbated by his age and Aboriginal descent, but it wasn’t enough to justify release.

“I’m not prepared to grant bail today: I’m not satisfied show cause has been made out,” she said.

“You do have medical conditions which require treatment … I don’t have evidence before me that you’ve exhausted all avenues.”

The case will return to court in November.

The co-accused will return to court at a later date, after investigators were granted more time to compile evidence and negotiate with the defence for the men.

Comments