Drug dealer accused of trying to bribe jailer

A West Coast drug dealer allegedly attempted to bribe his prison guard with $2000 for tips. Photo / File
A West Coast drug dealer allegedly attempted to bribe his prison guard with $2000 for tips. Photo / File

A West Coast drug dealer attempted to bribe his jailer, it was alleged during a bail application in Greymouth.

Joshua Murray Jackson, 26, appeared in Greymouth District Court yesterday on a multitude of charges, including nine of offering to sell P or LSD, one of conspiring to supply P and an unrelated charge of assaulting a woman with intent to injure.

Jackson is also charged with supplying P, possessing a sawn-off rifle, possessing four sticks of Powergel explosive, and possessing LSD for supply.

Police "vigorously" opposed bail, prosecutor Steven Greer saying one reason was that Jackson had just offered the civilian prison guard $2000 for tips as to when and where future search warrants were to be executed.

Lawyer Doug Taffs sought bail, saying Jackson would defend most of the charges.

Police had not found any class A drugs at his house, Jackson's alleged co-offender, Bridget Elizabeth Smith, 27, also of Greymouth, would be taking responsibility for the LSD tablet found, the firearm and explosives were in an open shed that at least 10 other men had access to, and the only thing linking Jackson to the assault was his fingerprints on the bottle used in the attack.

Jackson said his fingerprints should have been there because the woman had stolen the liquor off him.

Mr Taffs said the alleged bribe was simply Jackson "having some fun" with the jailer and he had not expected to be taken seriously.

However, Mr Greer said one of the many incriminating texts lifted from Jackson's phone was an admission that he had committed the assault on the woman.

Police had been granted permission to look at Jackson's phone records for the past six months and were expecting to lay many more charges when these had been analysed.

As a result, police considered him a flight risk.

Judge John Stretell said he was not prepared to risk Jackson being granted bail because he was not confident the accused would not simply revert to drug dealing if he was allowed back into the community.

Jackson's next appearance will be at a post-committal conference for a trial that could be up to eight months away.

- The Greymouth Star

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