Ex-businessman had drugs for supply

By Imran Ali

A jury has rejected the testimony of a former Whangarei businessman that he possessed methamphetamine for personal use and not for supply.

Bernard Simon Monk, 33, was found guilty on two charges of possession of methamphetamine for supply after a jury trial in the Whangarei District Court late yesterday.

Also found guilty was Warren Robert Henwood, 54, on one charge of possession of methamphetamine for supply. The pair have been remanded in custody for sentencing on April 9.

Crown prosecutor Moana Jarman-Taylor told the jury in her closing address that Monk came across as a "bit cocky" and arrogant while giving evidence in court.

She said the jury had to ask whether Monk's claim that the methamphetamine found in his possession was for personal use was true or not.

Ms Jarman-Taylor said while he claimed the $16,280 in cash found in the car he was driving when first stopped by police was proceeds from the sale of a Harley Davison, the purchaser never took possession of the motorcycle.

She said the drug dealing was a joint enterprise, with Nicholas Nordstrand acting as a courier, Monk as a salesman and Henwood providing a base. Nordstrand pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine and was jailed for four years in August 2011.

Monk's lawyer Catherine Cull urged the jury not to decide on the case in a broad brush by thinking that since money, drugs and bags were found on her client, he must have committed the crimes.

She said the fact that Monk admitted buying two grams of methamphetamine from Nordstrand didn't mean all the drugs found at Henwood's property were Monk's.

Wayne McKean, representing Henwood, said the latter was not present during the drug dealing and that his rule was for no one to bring drugs to his premises.

He said the methamphetamine was not at Henwood's property until Nordstrand brought it from Auckland - some 32 minutes before police arrived.

In his summing up, Judge Duncan Harvey said while the jury may have firm views on methamphetamine, they could not influence their verdicts.

He told the jurors the real issue was not possession of methamphetamine, but whether Monk intended to supply the drug.

- Northern Advocate

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