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SA lawyer pleads guilty to supplying cocaine, contests obstruction charge

An Adelaide criminal lawyer has pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine, but will contest a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

user iconTony Zhang 28 April 2020 Big Law
Adelaide
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Andrew Graham was facing serious drug and witness inducement charges when he was caught in a drug bust in a city nightclub. 

Mr Graham will be arraigned in the District Court following negotiations with prosecutors and will face trial by judge alone later this year.

In the Adelaide Magistrates Court two weeks ago, Mr Graham pleaded guilty to supplying or administering a controlled drug, but pleaded not guilty to attempting to obstruct or pervert the course of justice.

 
 

Court documents reveal that police alleged Mr Graham supplied cocaine to others and consumed it himself while under surveillance by a security guard in an Adelaide nightclub on 18 August last year.

When confronted, Graham allegedly attempted to persuade the guard not to take any action over the incident.

While Graham will face trial in the District Court, his alleged conduct is also likely to be investigated by Legal Profession Conduct Commissioner Greg May.

Lawyers Weekly understands that in February, Law Society of South Australia president Tim White said the society was bound to report to Mr May “any matter that comes to its attention where there is reasonable suspicion that a practitioner’s actions amounted to unsatisfactory professional conduct or prof­essional misconduct’’.

Under South Australian state law, a legal practitioner convicted of an indictable offence would trigger a “show cause event”. 

“(This is) where a practitioner would have to make an application to the Supreme Court to keep their practising certificate, and the court has the power to modify or suspend the applicant’s practising certificate, or strike the applicant off the roll of practitioners,’’ Mr White had said.

Court documents reveal that Mr Graham was originally facing four charges over the incident, but two of them have been dropped by police. 

These two charges dropped were remaining on a licensed premises while in possession of a controlled drug not contained in packaging with a prescribed label, and consuming a controlled drug other than cannabis.

The remaining two are major indictable charges that carry significant jail terms if convicted.

They are supplying a controlled drug other than cannabis to another person, and offering or agreeing to give benefit “as a reward or inducement” to a person who “was or may be required to be a witness in judicial proceedings, to withhold evidence or give false evidence at the proceedings’’.

Known as a rising criminal lawyer, in January Mr Graham represented Rebels bikie Bradley Daniele who pleaded guilty to serious assault charges after brutally bashing a child sex offender in the cells of the city watch house.