Tradie accused of selling cocaine to undercover police
A TRADIE who was allegedly caught by police trying throw his cocaine stash from a balcony has been granted bail.
Aaron Philippe-Collett, 43, was arrested on January 23 after allegedly selling cocaine to undercover officers on four occasions between December 17 and the day of his arrest.
Police allege during a search of his Ewingsdale home they saw Mr Philippe-Collett trying to throw items from a balcony.
It is alleged they found cocaine, marijuana and $1750 in cash.
Mr Philippe-Collett was remanded in custody after making no application for bail on January 24.
He appeared by video link in Tweed Heads Local Court on Wednesday from Grafton Correctional Centre where an application for bail was made.
Defence lawyer John Weller argued Mr Philippe-Collett had no history of drugs charges and was of "good character" and had longstanding ties in the community.
Mr Weller said his client was a tradesman who loved dogs, did volunteer work and would resume his place in the community if granted bail.
He told the court Mr Philippe-Collett was supported in court by a long-term friend and his girlfriend, who had recently flown to Australia from America to be with him.
"The managing director of fencing company gave Mr Philippe-Collett a reference," Mr Weller said
"He lives in Ballina and said (he) Mr Philippe-Collett could move in with him and … would be in a position to report daily to the Ballina Police Station.
"He can also offer assurity of $2000 by a friend who has known him for 20 years."
Police Prosecutor Sergeant Val Short opposed the bail application.
Sgt Short told the court Mr Philippe-Collett was at risk of interfering with evidence and witnesses.
She said the proposed bail address at Tamarind Dr, Ballina, was only 36km from Mr Philippe-Collett's home which posed a risk of him returning to the area.
"Given that it is a local supply Your Honour, it would be a concern if he would return to the area, of interfering with evidence and witnesses," Sgt Short said.
"When police executed a search warrant, he allegedly took steps to evade detection of the drug, that being cocaine, by trying to disperse it over the balcony."
Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy told the court he was satisfied Mr Philippe-Collett had a limited criminal history and no history of breaching bail conditions.
Mr Dunlevy said he could address the concerns of the police prosecutor by imposing strict bail conditions.
Mr Philippe-Collett was granted bail on the conditions he lived at a Tamarind Dr, Ballina address, immediately surrendered his passport, he did not enter an international airport, paid a $2000 bond and did not take drugs or alcohol.
He will appear in Byron Bay Local Court on March 23 for a brief status mention.