Nicked for concealed cash
ACCUSED of perverting the course of justice, Julie-Anne McMahon was frisked by police who found $2500 in cash secreted in her G-string, alleged to be from the proceeds of a crime.
McMahon, 32, of Goonellabah, is pleading not guilty to the offence, with the Crown alleging she wrote a false receipt for the sale of an old Ford Falcon after being charged with the proceeds of crime offence. The receipt was intended to show where she got the money from.
McMahon is also pleading not guilty to hindering a police investigation of a serious offence.
On the first day of her trial in the Lismore District Court yesterday, the Crown revealed the case involves an allegation of a Subaru WRX sports car being stolen at gunpoint by McMahon’s boyfriend.
The Crown alleges the perverting the course of justice offence occurred between June 2007 and July 2008 when McMahon had the first court case pending.
The Crown says police went to McMahon’s home at 6am on June 15, 2007, and officers seized a car registration plate, WRX ***.
During a personal body search the cash was found inside two resealable plastic bags beneath the G-string McMahon was wearing under her nightgown.
McMahon told Detective Sgt Mick Smith the money came ‘from a car I sold and my solicitor has the receipt’, but police charged her over the dealing with the proceeds of crime offence.
The Crown said that before her first court date in 2007, Det Sgt Smith received documents from McMahon’s lawyer, including a receipt with McMahon’s and another signature dated June 12, 2007.
McMahon maintained she received $3000 in cash from Joseph Gaudron (on the receipt the signature was spelt Gaudon) for a Ford sedan.
The Crown said there were two issues with the receipt – Gaudron’s signature was spelt differently, and ‘the Ford was being driven by Gaudron on April 1, 2007, some two months earlier’.
The Crown said when called as a witness, Mr Gaudron was expected to say he had been the owner of a WRX when, in March 2007, a man called Arthur Shackell ‘produced a gun and required him to hand over his WRX and gave him the 1990 model Ford Falcon’.
“The Crown alleges that the Ford could not have been sold by McMahon on June 12 as it had been subject to a forcible exchange at gunpoint by Arthur Shackell,” the Crown prosecutor stated in his opening address.
Senior Constable Daniel Wills told the court he stopped a 1990 Ford Falcon in Byron Bay for an RBT at 2.20am on April 1, 2007, and its driver, Joseph Gaudron, told him that no, it was not his car as he had to ‘swap it’.
Telling the officer he had a Subaru WRX, Snr Const Wills replied it did not seem a fair swap.
Mr Gaudron then told the officer he had been having some problems with the people who took it.
“Was it stolen,’ the officer asked him.
“Sort of,” Mr Gaudron isalleged to have replied.
Mr Gaudron told the officer he had not reported it to police because he did not want more trouble.
Snr Const Wills said he thought it ‘bizarre’ the man had been driving an older car when he actually owned a Subaru WRX the officer thought would be worth $40,000.
The trial is continuing.