A COURT has heard one of the men accused of the large commercial supply of ecstasy in the Tamworth pub and club scene was "being bullied" by a co-accused into allegedly dealing.
Kosta Sakellariou was denied bail in Tamworth Local Court on Tuesday, shortly after a 15-year-old co-accused was released.
The pair were arrested in Tamworth on Tuesday, alleged to be part of the ring supplying drugs such as ecstasy. They're two of seven now arrested as part of Strike Force Heyward.
Legal Aid solicitor Patricia Simpson said Sakellariou was just 19 and had "never been in custody".
"I do submit he's a vulnerable young man," she said, adding he was supported by family in court.
She said she had concerns with "what is in the fact sheet presented".
"The influence upon on my client, is borne out in those telephone intercepts," she told the court.
"The influence [from] the adult co-accused?" Magistrate Julie Soars replied.
"The influence amounts to almost bullying," Ms Simpson said, "that's the intercepts that they have provided".
She said Sakellariou had had "an unstable upbringing", lost his father when he was young and was "recently homeless", and "that all goes to his vulnerability".
Ms Simpson said the prosecution's case with "the weights, the amounts that are alleged" to have been supplied, was "not a strong case in that regard".
She said the facts "certainly don't substantiate that significant amount" alleged to have been supplied; and the telephone intercepts was "a matter that will take some time".
Sergeant Rob Baillie opposed bail, and said "delays are inevitable, unfortunately, in matters such as these".
He said Sakellariou's youth, vulnerability and the fact "he has a limited record ... doesn't overcome the show-cause hurdle" to granting bail.
Sergeant Baillie said he hadn't assessed the weights, but it was a strong case "in relation to this person supplying drugs in the Tamworth community".
The bail determination
Ms Soars noted Sakellariou had a "nil record" and "there's some suggestion he might have been under the influence of an adult co-accused".
"But those matters don't amount to show cause.
"Given the serious nature of those offences ... I have to refuse bail."
Sakellariou was ordered to remain in custody until the case returns to court in mid-February. Ms Soars ordered police to compile and serve the brief of evidence in eight weeks.
Sakellariou was not required to enter pleas to three counts of supplying drugs including large commercial supply; organising or conducting a drug premises; conducting a drug premises and exposing a child; and participating in a criminal group by contributing to criminal activity.
The 15-year-old co-accused, who cannot be identified because of his age, is charged with two counts of supplying drugs including a commercial quantity; assisting in a drug premises; and participating in a criminal group by contributing to criminal activity.
He appeared in the dock of a closed children's court hearing on the same day and was released on bail.
He's been ordered to live with a court-ordered person in Westdale, under a night curfew.
He's prohibited from contacting certain people involved in the case and must attend school or TAFE.
The teen will return to court in January.