PRISON might be home for a while for an alleged member of Tamworth's notorious 'ice castle'.
Luke Anthony Downs' application for release was toppled after his solicitor failed to convince Magistrate Julie Soars his client wouldn't take off from residential rehab.
The 27-year-old accused faces 19 charges after his arrest by Strike Force Radius, a task force set up to investigate the supply of the drug ice in the Tamworth area.
The bed at rehab represented a crossroads between a life before the courts, or a chance to do better, defence solicitor Christopher Wozniak told the local court on Wednesday. "He's gone through rigorous screening and made it clear to them that he has been suitable despite what's on his record," Mr Wozniak said.
"If he's in residential rehab police know where he is at all times."
Downs is accused of supplying more than $80,000 worth of the drug ice and shooting into a car on Goonoo Goonoo Road in the early hours of New Year's Day.
Police claim Downs shot a lime green Holden Commodore in response to a drug debt.
He was already behind bars connected to a West Tamworth arrest on February 13, and is believed by police to be one of the main instigators of the 'ice castle' drug supply ring.
Detectives claim Downs controlled lower-level suppliers and directed activities of the alleged ring, allegedly recruiting others to engage in criminal activity between September last year and February this year, when he was arrested.
Between December 31 and January 1, he's accused of using a carriage service to threaten a couple; intimidation; breaching a firearm prohibition order by acquiring and using a shotgun; and causing danger with a firearm, and unauthorised possession of a firearm.
Mr Wozniak argued the evidence to support the alleged shot fired into the car door was not strong.
"I've seen forensics, it can't be examined," he said.
"There's an inference that the shell was the same as those found in the room of Mr Downs, the fact is the report concludes fairly quickly it can't be analysed." Downs is charged with the supply of a commercial quantity of drugs, it carries a maximum penalty of 15 years' imprisonment. DPP solicitor Cat McKay opposed the bail application.
"The unacceptable risks the Crown relies upon are a risk of non-appearance, danger to the victim, individuals and community," she said.
Ms Soars said she found merit in rehabilitation but that was outweighed by her concerns.
"I have to refuse him bail today." Downs' case will return in October.