Grandfather Charged with Drug Supply at Retirement Home
A Sydney grandfather has been charged with drug supply at his retirement home.
62-year-old Gary Halford was arrested after allegedly supplying prohibited drugs from his unit at the Mountainview Retreat Retirement Village in Dural.
Other residents of the retirement complex spoke to the media following the arrest and expressed their suspicions.
In total, Mr Halford faces six charges with further investigation ongoing.
Retirement Home Residents Suspicious
Residents of the retirement home spoke to media outlets and said they became suspicious when they saw multiple people visiting the pensioner at odd times.
Resident Elaine Chapman said, "He was getting visitors at the night time, you know, coming and going...It's dreadful... and we've been advocating for quite a while for something to be done."
"I'm very much surprised. I thought everybody's so good," resident John Lal added.
"This is a retirement village... it's dreadful. It is dreadful," another resident of th retirement home said.
CrimeStoppers received a number of tip-offs which prompted police to launch an investigation in June 2021. Detectives had been monitoring the alleged retirement home drug dealer for several months after neighbours called Crime Stoppers when they saw people coming and going without masks.
The former bus driver was ultimately arrested during a traffic stop in Baulkham Hills about 10 kilometres from his home. Police officers allegedly seized cannabis, methylamphetamine (ice) and a mobile phone from his Ford Falcon.
On the same day, police also executed a search warrant on his unit at the retirement village. where police seized 12g of cannabis, six LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) tabs, a baton and electronic devices, all of which will undergo further examination.
Gary Halford was charged with six counts of possess prohibited drug, supply prohibited drug, possessing or using a prohibited weapon without a permit and failing to comply requirement public health order.
He was granted strict conditional bail to appear at Parramatta Local Court.
His passenger, 37-year-old Lyndall Cook, was charged with breaching COVID-19 rules and will face court at a later date.
Section 25(1) of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW) sets out that if you knowingly took part in the process of supplying, or agreeing to supply a prohibited drug, you can be guilty of an offence.
You can fight a supply prohibited drug charge in two ways. Firstly, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt:
- You engaged in the supply of a substance, OR
- Knowingly took part in the supply of a substance; AND
- That substance was a prohibited drug, OR
- You believed, or led the recipient to believe that it was a prohibited drug
If any of these elements are not made out, then you can be found 'not guilty'.
Drug supply charges are taken very seriously by the Courts. The maximum penalties reflect the very high likelihood of jail.
Despite this there have been a number of recent examples of these charges being dismissed after an accused person retains experienced criminal defence lawyers. You can read about them by clicking here.
We have offices throughout the Sydney metropolitan area where you can speak to Sydney, Liverpool and Criminal Lawyers in Parramatta. We can arrange a conference for you with a Law Society Accredited Specialist in assault offences.
In order to beat a drug supply charge, one of the below defences to drug supply charges may apply:
- You weren't aware that you possessed the drug
- Carey defence: You were holding the drug on behalf of another person and intended to give it back to that person (Carey (1990) 50 A Crim R 163)
- The substance was not a prohibited drug, AND you did not believe, nor did you hold it out as a prohibited drug
- The prohibited drug was for your personal use only
- Illegal search: If Police found the drug due to an unlawful search. This may be due to Police not having reasonable grounds to search you, or any warrant(s) they have used being improper or defective
- You were not involved in any steps of the supply
- No supply has taken place and you had no intention to supply
- Duress: You were forced to commit the drug supply
The maximum penalties for drug supply charges are based on the quantity of the drug.
For any amount less than the indictable quantity, the maximum penalty for drug supply is 15 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $220,000.
However, if the case is dealt with in the Local Court, these penalties are reduced to 2 years jail and/or a fine of $5,500.
For a commercial quantity drug supply, the maximum penalty becomes 20 years jail and/or a fine of $385,000.
At the top of the range, for large commercial quantity drug supply, the maximum penalty is life imprisonment and/or a fine of $550,000
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.