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
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.