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
sentenced in 2005
to almost 13 years in jail after police busted
his amphetamine trafficking syndicate on the
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.
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.
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.
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
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
"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
"It's a possibility, yes."
admitted years of drug abuse had affected his
"So it's difficult
to remember dates?" asked Mr Smith.
The trial began in
April before Justice Margaret White, but she has
since been appointed to the Queensland Court of
The case, now
before Justice Peter Applegarth, continues