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July 14th, 2018 by admin

Biker’s ‘stupid’ drug crimes

CLUB MAN: Tramps president Ronnie Harding during his legal battle to keep his firearms licence two years ago.
Nanjing Night Net

A series of post-it notes could be the key to proving drugs were being sold out of the Tramps clubhouse in Wangaratta.

Leader of the now defunct motorcycle club, Ronnie Harding, was this week committed to stand trial for attempting to traffick ice, ecstasy and cannabis.

His 55 charges included allegations of possessing guns, explosives and detonators.

Police seized 11.2 grams of MDMA, 0.6g of methamphetamine, three kilograms of total cannabis plant material and less than 50g of LSD when they raided the clubhouse and his Wangaratta South home on January 6.

They also found printed instructions on how to manufacture ice and ingredients such as pseudoephedrine and more than 2kg of iodine.

Senior Constable Matthew Finger told Wangaratta Magistrates’ Court Harding used post-it notes as a tick list, detailing alleged drug transactions.

Sales of up to $4500 for ice were recorded on the notes.

Defence barrister Remy van de Wiel, QC, described some of the 15 cannabis plants as “scraggly little plants”.

“There was no evidence on that day he attempted to traffick anything, let alone methamphetamine,” he said.

“We don’t know how old these pieces of paper are, we don’t even know whose handwriting it is.”

Police had not received any fingerprint or DNA analysis back from forensics before Wednesday’s committal hearing.

Harding’s estranged wife, Diane, refused to give evidence in court on the grounds she may incriminate herself or put their relationship at risk.

The accused did not say if he would plead guilty or not guilty if the case went to trial.

He did plead guilty to possessing 1.28g of ice and 1.28g of speed when police stopped his BMW at the BP service station off the northbound lanes of the Hume Freeway on September 13.

Another 5g of cannabis, plus ice and speed, was also located during a raid on his Wangaratta South home.

Mr van de Wiel said Harding used drugs to deal with his depression and serious heart illness.

“He’s stupid to take drugs with a heart condition – he’s probably stupid for a lot of reasons – but as someone 50-years-old, he’s very old for a first offender,”he said.

Magistrate Ian Watkins sentenced him to a Corrections order with the conditions to undergo drug and mental health treatment.

Despite police fears Harding would reoffend if released, Mr Watkins gave Harding bail until his trial.​

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.