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Bikie drug case dropped

SARAH CRAWFORD   |  February 1st, 2011


Nicholas ''Shonky'' Cassidy

A HELLS Angel who had his phone tapped and his business under surveillance for months said he was the victim of police harassment.

Nicholas Frank "Shonky" Cassidy had a drug possession charge against him dismissed recently when Magistrate Elizabeth Morris ruled there was not enough evidence to tie him to the illicit substance found in his ute.

This was despite months of phone tapping and a camera fixed on his workplace.

Mr Cassidy, who describes himself as a "nice" Hells Angel, served time last year after being found guilty of aggravated assault over a pub brawl.

He said the months of surveillance had ruined his business and cost him $50,000 in legal fees as he fought the case over two years.

"I have no idea why they (police) put me under surveillance," Mr Cassidy said.

"I'm Shonky, the nice guy."

On March 20, 2009, Shonky was arrested at Adelaide River with 26.6 grams of methylamphetamine concealed in a pepper shaker in his ute.

Crown Prosecutor Georgia McMaster alleged that Shonky was returning from Mataranka, 423km southeast of Darwin, where he had gone "to pick up drugs discarded at a truck stop".

But after the three-day hearing, Ms Morris ruled there was not enough evidence to prove he knew the drugs were in his ute.

Ms Morris said there were opportunities for someone else to put the drugs in the ute as other people had access to the vehicle in the days leading up to his arrest.

Also, Mr Cassidy had left his vehicle unattended at a roadside stop on the day of his arrest. Ms Morris said Mr Cassidy never admitted to knowing about the drugs in any of the phone taps.

Mr Cassidy said, in the nine to 10 months he was under surveillance, police compiled about 30 disks of recorded phone conversations.

He said it was the second time he had been under police surveillance in the past seven years.

Ms Morris awarded Mr Cassidy $1650 in court costs.

Police media did not respond to NT News questions by the deadline for this edition yesterday.



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