Why charges were dropped against man accused of poisoning
A lengthy wait for evidence has seen a man charged with poisoning someone at knifepoint have his case dismissed.
Randall Perrin Laurie, 30, from Currumbin Waters, and previously Banora Point, had been held on remand, charged with administering a poison with intent to cause distress, common assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and being armed with intent.
When his case first went before the court on September 10, 2018 he pleaded not guilty to all charges, which arose from an alleged August 22, 2018 incident in Tweed Heads South.
Police had alleged he caused Duncan Craig to consume disinfectant while holding him at knifepoint.
But almost two and a half years later, his case had been thrown out.
When police prosecutor, Sergeant Alix Thom, asked for more time for the brief of evidence to be completed before Tweed Heads Local Court this month, defence solicitor, Hannah Donaldson objected and called for the case to be dismissed.
Ms Donaldson told the court the case had been mentioned with the brief expected to be served "on no less than six occasions".
The court heard the prosecution was only awaiting a Forensic and Analytical Science Service expert report.
There had been no progress on this since a previous application to have the case dismissed in November 2020.
"The informant has made inquiries (and) they have indicated they have a backlog," Sgt Thom said.
"They can't explain it any further."
The court heard a date for the brief to be served was set in October, 2018 and the Director of Public Prosecutions elected to take on the case in June, 2019.
"To simply say there's been a delay over the last few months doesn't seem to explain what should have been occurring all the way back in 2018," Ms Donaldson said.
"This, your honour, is a prime example of delaying justice."
Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy accepted the defence submission it was "not in the interest of justice" for the case to remain before the court.
"I accept that there has been significant delay in finalisation of these proceedings," Mr Dunlevy said.
He said there was no progress on the poison analysis since September 21 last year.
"The matter does not seem to be of a very high complexity," he said.
"The director chose to proceed on indictment, the prosecution simply haven't been able to finalise all the evidence that's to be served over a number of years.
"The defendant potentially places a high degree of prejudice if the proceedings continue.
"I do discharge the defendant from the proceedings … in relation to all charges."