Lismore Court House. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star
Lismore Court House. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star Cathy Adams

Unlikely trio to face Lismore trial for commercial drug supply

A FRAIL pensioner and a mother and son from the Kyogle area will be arraigned before the Lismore District Court in June over the alleged sale of hundreds of grams of the drug ice.

Thomas John Kedwell, 64, Nicola New, 43, and her son Richard John Matthews, 22, were arrested in September last year following a lengthy phone intercept operation by police.

Kedwell and Matthews are charged with the commercial supply of 402g of methylamphetamine while New is charged with the sale of 344g.

All three are also charged with drug supply on an ongoing basis, with Kedwell and New additionally charged with cannabis cultivation.

Police telephone intercepts taken last year of their mobile phones allegedly revealed a pattern of wholesale drug purchases in Queensland which were subsequently couriered back over the border for distribution.

They were granted bail last year, however Kedwell breached his bail after failing to report to police, and was sent back behind bars.

He could barely speak as he appeared via video link in Lismore Local Court on Tuesday, and repeatedly touched his throat. He told Magistrate Heilpern he was expecting to be admitted to Newcastle Hospital under the supervision of corrections officers.

His lawyer Jim Fuggle told the court he was "very ill” and had recently been diagnosed with cancer.

Mr Fuggle told Magistrate Heilpern Kedwell hoped to be granted bail and his brother was assisting him to find a temporary residence if he was successful.

A bail hearing is expected before the trio are committed for trial next month.

Mr Fuggle also told Magistrate Heilpern that his client wished to enter pleas to the charges, however his co-accused were not yet willing to do so.

He requested the court take into account Kedwell's desire to enter an early plea in any subsequent sentencing hearing.

New and Matthews made subsequent brief appearances in person before Magistrate Heilpern to hear their arraignment date in the District Court.

Magistrate Heilpern ordered the three be committed for trial or sentencing in Lismore District Court on June 14.

Conditional bail for New and Matthews to report daily from their Roseberry Creek home, north of Kyogle, to Kyogle Police Station is to continue.



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