Meth trial date finally set

By David Kavanagh | posted on August 8, 2019

AN ALBANY man charged with 15 counts of offering to sell or supply methylamphetamine while employed to help coordinate a state-funded meth-busting program will have his case heard at a trial in October.

Former Ice Breakers facilitator Craig Raymond Golding will return to the Albany Magistrates Court on October 3 almost a full year and several adjournments after he was alleged to have offered to sell the drug.

He fronted Magistrate Raelene Johnston in the court last Thursday and pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis, methylamphetamine and a glass pipe and plastic bong on which traces of prohibited drugs were found.

He then pleaded not guilty to the 15 charges of offering to sell or supply methylamphetamine and to a charge of failing to obey a data access order.

Mr Golding is alleged to have offered to sell or supply the drugs between August 23 and October 12, a few months prior to police executing a search warrant at his Spencer Park property on December 6.

Prosecuting Sergeant Peter Yuswak requested that “in the interest of justice” the matter be heard in the District Court.

He described the case as “quite complex” and argued that since Mr Golding was acting in a “senior role” at the Ice Breakers program when the offences were allegedly committed, the “penalty range” afforded to a higher jurisdiction would be more suitable.

Mr Golding’s lawyer David Manera, who addressed court via telephone link from Perth, opposed Sgt Yuswak’s motion.

“It seems a fairly straightforward prosecution case,” he said.

“It appears the entire prosecution’s case rests on downloads from [Mr Golding’s] mobile phone, purely on the SMS messages.

“This is a matter for Mr Golding to explain [the messages] and for the court to interpret what they mean.”

Magistrate Johnston agreed with Mr Manera and denied the prosecution’s application.

She said the maximum penalty the Albany Magistrate Court could apply

for each of the 15 offences was four years imprisonment and a $5500 fine.

“There are adequate sentencing options available should Mr Golding be convicted. It’s difficult to see circumstance where he is likely to receive more than four years for any of these matters,” she said.

According to Sgt Yaswuk, 12 of the 15 offences relate to a total 12.27 grams of methylamphetamine while the remaining three relate to an unspecified quantity of meth valued at $650.