Court of Appeal upholds cocaine conviction

A SUNSHINE Coast man has lost his bid to appeal a conviction for importing cocaine through the post from Thailand.

Steven Peter Verrall of Bli Bli was sentenced to 12 years in jail last month after he pleaded guilty to drug importation, dealing with proceeds of crime and drug trafficking.

Verrall was arrested in 2008 after police pinpointed mailboxes on the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane Verrall had cocaine packages sent to from a supplier in Thailand.

The 41-year-old also had drug shipments sent to friends' neighbours.

The friends would visit their neighbours once the illegal packages had been delivered to claim it had been sent to the wrong address by mistake in a bid to avoid a paper trail.

Police had an insight into Verrall's business deals, drug qualities and customer satisfaction through emails, which police intercepted between November 2007 and February 2008.

He pleaded guilty to the charges in 2009 but then attempted to have the pleas set aside in the Court of Appeal in 2012.

Verrall argued pleas were equivocal, entered through circumstances that amounted to a miscarriage of justice and the primary judge erred in not setting them aside.

But the Court of Appeal found there was no pressure on Verrall to plead and dismissed his appeal.

Last month Supreme Court Justice John Byrne sentenced Verrall to 12 years jail for the offences.

Verrall shortly after applied to the High Court for special leave to appeal his conviction.

The High Court dismissed Verrall's application on Wednesday.



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