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  • Family’s house put up for surety

    2018 - 07.05

    THE family of an alleged ice dealer accused of peddling a commercial amount of the drug to other dealers in Tamworth has offered their house as surety for bail.

    Gregory Alan McBride will learn this morning whether his bid for bail was successful when Magistrate Mal MacPherson hands down his decision. It follows yesterday’s show-cause hearing in Tamworth Local Court, which was triggered because McBride is charged with supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug.

    The court heard McBride’s family would offer their Tamworth home as surety to secure bail, and ensure he would attend court as the case progressed.

    “It places another burden on Mr McBride,” solicitor Wendy McAuliffe said.

    “If he messes up at all, his parents lose their house.”

    McBride’s defence has to prove why detention is not justified, after he was arrested and charged with four offences during a co-ordinated swoop by detectives attached to Strike Force Mewburn.

    The operation was conducted earlier this month and led to several arrests and the dismantling of the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang’s Tamworth clubhouse, which was stripped bare.

    A solicitor for the DPP argued McBride had links to the outlaw motorcycle gang, including through some of his co-accused, but McBride shook his head, as he appeared via video link from Silverwater prison.

    “He does painting for a living,” Ms McAuliffe said, adding that McBride had painted for people with ties to the club as part of his job.

    “He has done work at the clubhouse,” she said.

    The case revolves around methylamphetamine, or ice, which was yesterday labelled by authorities as Australia’s worst drug.

    Ms McAuliffe said the case against her client appeared to be “circumstantial”, revolving around the alleged sale of the drug “that was supplied to the co-accused by Mr McBride”.

    But DPP solicitor Colin Dalrymple said police had compiled surveillance allegedly “observing transactions taking place”.

    “This is quite a strong case,” he said.

    “The transcripts are black and white, they’re there for all to listen to.

    “A drug of particular concern to the community, a drug that causes great harm,” he said, adding McBride was higher up the chain of command in the alleged drug ring.

    Mr Dalrymple submitted the maximum 20-year penalty McBride was facing if convicted could cause him to be a flight risk.

    “That would lead to a great temptation to flee the jurisdiction,” as well as the risk McBride could interfere with witnesses, he said.

    However, Ms McAuliffe argued McBride could effectively remain under house arrest and live with his family to alleviate bail concerns while his case progressed.

    “I’m imagining it’s going to take a long time,” she said, adding that was another factor in the case for bail. “There will be lengthy delays in this matter.”

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