Court Reporting

Trial Begins for Drug Import Charges

Rebecca Taylor

A 56 year old Warragul man awaits sentencing after pleading not guilty to the charge of importing commercial amounts of the drug pseudoephedrine.

The man was charged upon returning from Vietnam and has been in custody since April of this year.

The drugs were found in packages inside the suitcase of an elderly couple travelling with him.

The owner of the suitcase said, “I was very shocked,” upon being told about the 4119 grams of pseudoephedrine in her bag.

When the couple landed at Sydney Airport, customs agents found the drugs and questioned the couple, who informed the agents the packages belonged to the accused.

Senior Customs Official Jefferey Van Dam travelled from Sydney to Melbourne to meet the accused as he landed at Tullamarine Airport, where he was questioned by law enforcement.

The man told the couple the packages contained food to take home to his Vietnamese fiancé’s sister, and had asked them to bring things home on an earlier trip in 2013.

The man and his fiancé had paid for the elderly couple’s trip from Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh.

The trip was supposed to be for the wedding of the accused, but the wedding was postponed indefinitely.

Senior Investigator Sharon Hume said it was found that the accused’s fiancé has been using multiple names and identities.

She also said they had found no record of her sister in the course of the investigation.

Magistrate Hassard has continued the case until tomorrow morning.

Man Pleads Guilty to Brunswick Attack

Rebecca Taylor

Brunswick man Noor Panjshiri has pleaded guilty to the charge of recklessly causing injury to a woman employed at his restaurant.

Mr. Panjshiri was charged in 2011 when his employee said he pushed her to the ground and held her captive in a bathroom stall for seventeen minutes after she was late for her shift.

The complainant also alleged Mr. Panjshiri threatened to kill her during that time.

CCTV footage was tendered as evidence of the accused pushing her down, but there is no footage of what took place in the bathroom.

When asked why he shoved the young woman, Mr. Panjshiri said, “She threatened to have her African boys come and rape my son.”

Mr. Panjshiri also went on to say the young woman had come to work high on marijuana that morning and refused to talk to him when he confronted her.

He also said that while the two were in the bathroom, he was simply trying to calm her down.

Although the accused said he thought she was “completely calm” when she left, she made a 000 call as soon as she left.

When he was called into the police station and questioned about the event, he told officers he had not pushed her at all.

When prosecution questioned him about the lie, Mr. Panjshiri said, “Many bad things happened in my past to make me scared of the police.”

The young woman was one of only a few employees at the restaurant, which has since closed down, but was the only employee there at the time of the incident.

Now that the accused has pleaded guilty to recklessly causing injury and not guilty to three related charges, sentencing for this trial will commence at 9:00AM tomorrow at Melbourne Magistrates Court.

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