Judge to defendent: 'Get on with it'

Police uncovered two shipping containers concealed under a slasher that were being used to grow more than 300 cannabis plants.
Police uncovered two shipping containers concealed under a slasher that were being used to grow more than 300 cannabis plants.

A MAN representing himself in his own drug trial was sternly instructed by a judge to stop stalling and to "get on with it" after a series of lengthy awkward silences and disobedience.

Paul Ian Harris is charged with multiple drug offences after Tweed-Byron Target Action Group police raided his property at Fernvale, south of Murwillumbah in March last year.

It is alleged police uncovered two underground shipping containers, concealed under a slasher, containing more than 300 cannabis plants.

Police allege cannabis resin and dry cannabis leaf were also discovered.

Harris appeared nervous and struggled to cross-examine a police witness during his trial in the Lismore District Court yesterday.

Judge James Black appeared frustrated as he repeatedly instructed the self-represented defendant that a piece of information he kept referring to was not relative to the case.

"It is not relevant," Judge Black said.

"Well it's relevant to me," Harris retorted.

"Well I am telling you it's not, so move on," the Judge said.

This threw the defendant "off centre" and created prolonged silences in the courtroom as Harris scanned his notes for help.

Despite the stern warning, Harris dared to refer to the "irrelevant" information again and accused the judge of cutting him off whenever he tried to ask a question.

"I feel like the way I have been treated in this ... whole procedure is incorrect," Harris stated.

Judge Black told the defendant that he knew what he got himself into.

"You don't have the right to make a travesty of this in the way you seem to be," he said.

For reasons not disclosed to the jury, the empanelled jury was discharged yesterday and the case was adjourned.

Early in the proceedings, the defendant said he came into the case with "clean hands" and was determined to come out with clean hands.

Topics:  cannabis cannabis plants drug offences lismore district court

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