Convicted drug trafficker fights to keep his savings

A CONVICTED Bucca marijuana trafficker has won the right to fight the state government from confiscating his home and savings account.

Ronald Edward Thompson has taken the State of Queensland to the state's highest court after a judge last year ordered that he forfeit his property and savings to the state under proceeds of crime laws.

Thompson was convicted last year after pleading guilty to producing, trafficking and possessing marijuana. Court documents said he grew and sold the drug to a group of friends and made about $3900 a year.

Thompson was sentenced to two years in jail, suspended after serving three months.

He was ordered to forfeit his home and $14,000 in savings to the state, leaving him with two vehicles and one of them was subjected to a chattel mortgage.

In a Court of Appeal judgment handed down on Thursday afternoon, Justice Anthe Philippides said it had been argued that the forfeiture was of his only savings and main asset and impeded his rehabilitation since he had been released from jail.

A judgment was also delivered yesterday in another forfeiture case involving a convicted marijuana trafficker.

The Queensland Court of Appeal found that this drug trafficker, Peter Joseph Deadman from Ipswich, was able to keep his house after the state government tried to confiscate it.

The court upheld a previous decision that ordering him to forfeit it would not be in the public interest.

This case set a precedent for Thompson and he sought the court's permission to get further evidence about his personal and financial circumstances.

He intends to argue that confiscating his savings and property would not be in the public interest.

Justice Philippides ordered that Thompson be given permission to produce further evidence.

She also set aside the previous forfeiture order, except for $5000. - ARM NEWSDESK



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