Possession of Methylamphetamine and Handgun Without Licence

gun-drugsOur client was charged with possession of Methylamphetamine and possession of a firearm without a licence. A search warrant was executed at the home of our client. The methylamphetamine or ice was found inside jars found on the mantle piece in the living room of the accused’s house. The firearm was found inside a shoe box in a spare room. The hand print of the accused was found on the outside of the box.

One other person was present at the house when the search warrant was executed. His passport showed that he had arrived from Vietnam the day before and he was not charged with any offences.

Josh Taaffe represented our client at the contested hearing of the charges at the Sunshine Magistrates’ Court. Our office had taken over the matter from other solicitors and we were not able to obtain all relevant materials before the day of the hearing.

At the hearing, Josh requested disclosure of photographs of the premises and a copy of the video recording of the search warrant being executed. This footage would show how much other material was in the home, whether the drugs could be seen inside the jars. A car was found outside the house and inside the car was a canister of OC spray. This car was registered to someone else and our client was not charged with respect to the OC spray. Josh sought disclosure of the identity of the car owner and information as to whether he had any prior convictions.

Further statements obtained on the day of the hearing revealed that cash rental payments had been made for the previous three months. Our client maintained that others had access to the house and that the spare room was used by them as well as the jars. Our client admitted cleaning up and moving shoe boxes when he first moved in.

The police were not able to produce the footage or photographs and seemed to have lost them.

Josh reminded the the police that the person who took the cash payments had not identified our client from a photo board. In addition to this, the same person had made the earlier cash payments, some of which were made while our client was overseas. This indicated that someone else was paying rent and had access to the premises. Josh argued that the hand print was evidence only of the handling of the box and not the contents. There was no forensic link to the firearm itself nor to the drugs.

Police enquiries about the car with the OC spray revealed that the registered owner had been pulled over two weeks earlier and charged with drugs and firearms offences. This piece of information was the last straw and the prosecution then agreed to withdraw the charges.


Josh TaaffeJosh Taaffe

Josh has extensive experience in indictable crime including sex offences, assaults & drug matters.

As an instructing solicitor Josh has specialised in handling complex matters, such as murder and terrorism trials, including State and Commonwealth Supreme Court trials. Josh is an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist.

Visit Josh’s profile to read more about his background and experience.

DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 25/02/2013