A recovering drug addict avoided jail in exchange for giving evidence against a Queensland drug baron, whose $27 million fortune is the subject of Supreme Court action.

John Hooning is a key witness in the Queensland Attorney-General's case against Charles Edward Cannon, a drug kingpin sentenced in 2005 to almost 13 years in jail after police busted his amphetamine trafficking syndicate on the Gold Coast.

The state wants to seize Cannon's asset portfolio - worth up to $26,965,900 - including a million-dollar mansion, a Jaguar and two luxury catamarans.


But Cannon, an alleged Finks outlaw motorcycle gang member, has contested the state's grab on his assets.

The Brisbane Supreme Court will this week hear evidence to determine how much money Cannon made from his illegal activity and how much of his property was purchased with the proceeds of his crimes.

Hooning, who claimed to have worked for Cannon as a drug runner between 1999 and 2002, yesterday admitted he avoided a prison term after he agreed to testify against Cannon at both his criminal trial and the current civil proceedings.

Under cross-examination by Cannon's barrister Paul Smith, Hooning said he received a suspended sentence in 2002 from a Brisbane Supreme Court judge after he pleaded guilty to producing drugs and possessing chemicals and glassware used to produce drugs.

Hooning agreed it was likely he would have received actual jail time, but his punishment was reduced because he had given statements to the police against Cannon.

"So if you came here today and said 'it was all a lie' you'd be at risk of going to jail wouldn't you?" Mr Smith asked.

Hooning replied: "It's a possibility, yes."

Hooning also admitted years of drug abuse had affected his memory.

"So it's difficult to remember dates?" asked Mr Smith.

"Absolutely," Hooning said.

The trial began in April before Justice Margaret White, but she has since been appointed to the Queensland Court of Appeal.

The case, now before Justice Peter Applegarth, continues today.