Free on bail, Nimbin cannabis crusader vows to fight on
NIMBIN identity Peter "The Rock" Till has represented himself in Lismore District Court yesterday morning ahead of his trial over commercial cannabis cultivation charges.
Freed on bail last week after several months in custody, the 50-year-old sought to change his address to a Nimbin residence on Cullen St.
He was previously living at Dyraaba.
Judge Laura Wells initially expressed concerns about Till reporting to Nimbin Police Station under his bail conditions, saying "this is exactly where he had difficulties with the police, and vice versa".
Ultimately the court accepted he could report to Nimbin from his new address nearby.
Till will face trial in August on charges of cultivating a commercial quantity of cannabis, supplying an indictable amount of cannabis. The maximum penalty for the former charge is 15 years' jail.
He was arrested when police raided a Mountain Top property on March 22 last year after Mr Till allegedly posting a video of himself on Facebook at a huge cannabis plantation with an estimated street value of $700,000.
Police seized 512 plants and 120 cannabis seeds at the property.
Mr Till appeared relatively calm and focused in the court room today - a stark contrast to his distressed state while in custody during a number of appearances last year, when he was plagued by health issues, including the loss of sight in his right eye.
Judge Wells said Till's matter had priority as it was "getting old" and noted he had spent several months in custody over it.
"Will you be ready for trial in August?" Judge Wells asked Till. "I will expect you to be ready Mr Till, because that is some months away."
Mr Till replied he would do his best barring any unforeseen medical circumstances.
During the court mention Till formally received Crown material which he had sought via a subpoena, including DVDs which include video footage of the police search and screenshots of Till's Facebook posts.
It's understood Till may argue that the police search warrant was invalid.
Outside court, he said was fighting the charges to make a stand for the legalisation of cannabis, particularly for medical reasons.
He said he was engaging in a protest when he was arrested. He also said he appreciated the court granting him bail after a long stint in custody on remand.
"There is never any dispute about me, I'm going to fight it," he said.
"Whether I win or lose that's a different story. But I'm going to have a go and I have to thank the judge for what she did... I'm grateful that she gave me bail."
The matter returns to Lismore District Court for pre-trial legal arguments on June 1.
The trial has been scheduled to start on August 27 with a mention on August 23.