A TAMWORTH man allegedly part of a large-scale drug ring has been denied bail in court after the magistrate found there were no delays in his case.
Timothy John Brooks is yet to enter pleas but is staring down the barrel of 20 years' imprisonment if found guilty of methylamphetamine supply.
He's been behind bars since December 10 after a raid on a Maxwell Street home but will remain in custody until at least next month, after his release application was refused in Tamworth Local Court.
Magistrate Julie Soars said Brooks had a record for similar drug matters, and the police facts showed a "substantial amount of methamphetamine" supplied in the region.
"[It's a] complex brief, involving intercepts, which need to be fully reviewed," she said, acknowledging the delays.
"Against very serious charges by someone who has a prior record in respect of supply matters."
Legal Aid solicitor Wendy McAuliffe argued the district court trial diary was full for the year, and it was a lengthy investigation so police "should have" had the brief ready when he was arrested.
"It's an unacceptable delay," she said.
Brooks, who is being held in custody in Cessnock, was supported in court by a family member.
"A trial date won't be available until next year, at the earliest," Ms McAuliffe said.
Ms Soars said "I don't think the delays are undue", because "it's just the system, the delays in the district [court]".
Against very serious charges by someone who has a prior record in respect of supply matters.Magistrate Julie Soars
Brooks had to show a change in circumstances and overcame the bail hurdle after the court was told he had an assault charge that had been withdrawn, and he had been placed on a bond for resisting police, meaning his other matters had been finalised.
Ms McAuliffe said Brooks had strong family ties; had "long-standing drug issues"; "he has not had any of his medication"; and had been unable to get drug rehabilitation or proper health treatment in custody, but could access an addiction treatment program if released on bail.
"His continuing detention is not justified," she submitted.
The court heard the brief of evidence was "quite voluminous" and his case could not move forward until all the evidence was served, which was now delayed until at least mid-April.
"That is three months, Your Honour ... the process can not move on any further," Ms McAuliffe said.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Rob Baillie opposed bail and argued there was "strong evidence to suggest" that Brooks was involved in drug supply and there were no delays in the case because "it is within the confines of the legislation".
"These are serious matters before the court," he said.
Ms Soars denied bail and ordered an urgent health review in custody.
Brooks faces charges including supplying more than indictable quantity of methylamphetamine, or ice; knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime with intent to conceal; dealing with property that is the proceeds of crime; participating in a criminal group - all of which were allegedly committed in Barraba; along with two counts of possessing drugs.
Strike Force Kunderbung police uncovered $650 cash; a stolen rugby league medal; ice; cannabis; mobile phones; a watch; and electric scales in the December raid on the Maxwell Street property where Brooks' was living at the time.
CO-ACCUSED HAVE CASES ADJOURNED
John Barry Carruthers allegedly had 112g of ice stashed in a box, hidden under his vehicle which was stopped about 7.30am en route to Barraba on December 2.
Barraba's Glenn Mervyn Hanrahan remains behind bars and did not appear in court for the mention. Police allege he has been involved in the supply of more than 800g of methylamphetamine.
Hanrahan faces life behind bars if found guilty of large commercial ice supply; and also is charged with two other drug dealing offences; possessing drugs; and knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime.
Strike Force Kunderbung police swooped on him at a Fitzroy Street home in Barraba on December 2 and allegedly uncovered $77,500 cash in the house.
In Tamworth court, solicitor Malcolm Carr said he had a brief of evidence, while Hanrahan's solicitor Bobby Locker said he hadn't received any additional items.
Sergeant Baillie said it still "needs to be screened for compliance", before the DPP could take over.
He said the briefs had been sent to the DPP but preliminary observations revealed there was outstanding items, including "drug analysis in short form and ballistics".
Ms Soars granted an adjournment to April to compile the extra items but warned the prosecution "if it's not compliant, I'll need a detailed explanation".
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