Not guilty verdict for man charged over cocaine supply
A SYDNEY man has been found not guilty for supplying 11kg of cocaine on the Northern Rivers.
Last week, Jasper Nash, 33, from Homebush West, sat in the dock of Lismore District Court during his two-day trial after previously pleading not guilty to supplying a large commercial quantity of cocaine.
Mr Nash, who is also known as Stephanie Adoray Nash, was arrested in April 2019 over allegations he had supplied 11.38kg of cocaine.
He had driven from Sydney at the time to go fishing in the Richmond River, the court heard during evidence.
However, the Crown Prosecutor alleged Mr Nash had actually been couriering the prohibited drug from Sydney in his vehicle before transferring it to another vehicle at Wardell.
The driver of the second vehicle, Scott Christopher Pritchard, had been found to be in possession of 12 cryovac bags containing the 11.38kg of cocaine when he was stopped by police at Cudgen the same day.
The 36-year-old has since pleaded guilty to supplying a large commercial quantity of cocaine.
The court heard both vehicles had at one time been owned by Pritchard, and each were found to contain a hollowed out LPG cylinder.
The drugs were found in the cylinder of Pritchard's vehicle.
Evidence presented to the court found both Mr Nash and Pritchard had been parked by the Richmond River at the same time.
Mr Nash was seen by surveillance officers in the "boot area" of his vehicle "moving an item" but it couldn't be determined what exactly he was doing.
Further DNA testing of the cryovac bags found no physical evidence that Mr Nash had ever physically held the drugs or the cylinders.
But fingerprints were found on the bags belonging to two separate men, including one man who was Mr Nash's sister's boyfriend.
Judge Jeffrey McLennan said while there were many "odd coincidences" in the case, the Crown Prosecutor had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt Mr Nash physically supplied the drugs.
During his judgment on Monday, Judge McLennan said it hadn't been proven that Mr Nash knew about the drugs, there was no direct evidence he knew Pritchard, or whether the drugs found later in Pritchard's vehicle were ever in the car Mr Nash was driving.
Judge McLennan said there was no evidence to show where Pritchard had been that morning, or where the two men whose fingerprints were found on the bags had been.
He said it could be suggested Pritchard was carrying the drugs when he was seen fishing in the river by surveillance officers.
He said the "odd coincidences" failed to "prove guilt" as there was never any physical evidence Mr Nash was aware of the drugs, let a lone transferred them from one vehicle to another.
Judge McLennan found Mr Nash not guilty and demanded his immediate release from prison.
Mr Nash has put in an application to the court to seek costs for his legal bills, which will be heard on September 17.