Byron Bay music 'groupie' says jail is unsafe

A BYRON BAY music groupie has said he failed to appear in Lismore District Court on serious drug charges because he feared for his safety in jail.

Ryan Wilson, 30, has been refused bail after being charged with more drug offences while on the run.

Wilson, who lists his occupation as a band member groupie, had pleaded guilty to the ongoing supply of heroin at Brunswick Heads in 2007, but failed to appear for sentencing in September 2008 and an arrest warrant was issued.

Police caught up with Wilson living at a Tweed Heads motel on January 3 and charged him with new drug offences, including possession, supply and possession of goods suspected of being stolen.

He made a fresh bail application before Magistrate Sharon Crews in Lismore Local Court on Tuesday.

Opposing bail the Director of Public Prosecutions representative, Christopher Smith, said the new charges were similar drug offences that took place while Wilson was on bail for the on- going supply of drugs and 'the facts speak for themselves' after he failed to appear.

“He committed a more serious offence while absconding on bail,” Mr Smith said.

Wilson's mother gave evidence that she only 'found out later' that her son did not appear at the District Court.

“Ryan told me he was afraid that he would be sentenced and would be in danger as he had given help and assistance (to police),” she said.

In evidence before the court, police said that when Wilson was caught at the motel he had $783 in his pocket, and 21 ecstasy pills, 12.5g of heroin, 2g of cannabis leaf and 7.3g of MDMA were found in the motel room.

Stolen laptops, hard drives and a mobile phone were also found, with Wilson telling the police the items belonged to a man named 'Smoker'.

He has made no pleas on the fresh charges.

After being refused bail, Wilson minutes later appeared before Judge James Black in Lismore District Court on the first sentencing matter.

A new sentencing date was set by Judge Black for May 11.



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