Bing News

  • Written by Bing

Updated August 10, 2018 15:05:32

The stepfather of a Queensland man facing allegations of selling cocaine in Bali says his son has a long history of minor drug issues.

Former Sunshine Coast man Brendon Luke Johnsson, 43, is in police custody on the Indonesian island after a raid on his home in Kuta on Thursday.

Police said they found 12 grams of cocaine in the raid, worth about $3,000.

Authorities alleged Mr Johnsson had been selling and using drugs in Bali for the past five years.

If found guilty, Mr Johnsson faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison under Indonesian law.

Ashley Robinson said his step-son had battled drugs since he was 16 years old.

"We love him dearly but he has made some poor decisions in his life and this one's going to be obviously the biggest mistake he's made if it's proven to be correct," he said.

"As parents … we absolutely hate drugs and what they do to families."

Mr Robinson, who received an Order of Australia medal for his charitable work on the Sunshine Coast, said he did not blame the Indonesian police over his step-son's arrest.

"I don't blame the Indonesians. Everyone knows what the law is over there regarding the drugs," he said.

"I'd actually like to thank them for looking after him at this stage — the police and the officials."

He said Indonesia was clear about its policy on drugs, and anyone who ignored that was making "a poor decision".

Mr Robinson will now head to Bali with son Lucas in an effort to find support for Mr Johnsson.

"We want to get him some help and some rehabilitation and my job now, with his brother … is to get over there and try and find the right lawyer and the right assistance that he needs.

"It's going to be a long road, but as a family we've just got to stick together."

Police in Bali said officers found drugs packed into several small plastic bags under floorboards during the raid on Mr Johnsson's home.

He was filmed by local media in police custody wearing a detainee uniform and a balaclava.

Chief of Denpasar District Police Hadi Purnomo said Mr Johnsson had lived in Bali for four years, working as a designer and architect.

He said the Australian citizen wanted to expand his drug business as demand increased.

Lawyer Ross Hill represented model Michelle Leslie when she was arrested for using drugs in Bali in 2005, and supported the family's choice to be open about Mr Johnsson's struggle with drugs.

"That's really the only approach for the family to take, dependent on the circumstances on what the evidence is, as to where the drugs were found, whether there's other people living in the house," he said.

"Certainly if they've got the wood on him, so to speak, in terms of there's no doubt it's his possession, then following that avenue of addiction and seeking leniency on any sentence from the court is the avenue the family should pursue."

Mr Hill said the court could be significantly more lenient for an addict compared to a dealer.

"If there's evidence of some type of supply or activity as such, the law can be very, very severe, but if somebody's a genuine addict who has suffered for many years and they can have that type of evidence to prove that position, then we could be talking a period of three months' or six months' [imprisonment]," he said.

Topics: drug-offences, foreign-affairs, courts-and-trials, bali, maroochydore-4558, brisbane-4000, qld

First posted August 10, 2018 13:40:56

Authors: Bing

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