Man proves innocence with Lotto win
Jun 26, 2008 6:53 PM
The first person to have their land confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act
says he can now prove his innocence.
Shaun Allen had owned his farm for only a few months when police raided the
property and found more than 1000 cannabis plants hidden in the bush.
He was arrested but has always maintained that the cannabis plants were not his.
He was the first person to have his land confiscated under the 1991 Proceeds of
Crime Act. He lost his farm, his bank accounts were frozen and he was sentenced
to 18 months jail in 1993.
But after serving his time and losing an appeal, Allen won Lotto and spent his
half million dollar winnings trying to clear his name.
And after years of gathering evidence, Allen now believes he has found a crack.
It's understood that police can search a property for drugs without a warrant
but they must file a report called a moda with the police comissioner within
three days. If they don't, the search is arguably illegal.
But the police computer terminal code on Allen's moda does not exist, leading
him to believe the document is a fake.
"There was something serious wrong with this case. I always knew because I never
did it," Allen says. " I knew there was something wrong with that moda for years."
National Party police spokesman Chester Burrows is concerned about the case. He
has referred it to the Independent Police Complaints Authority.
"The issues around the moda are very concerning - from a first glance it looks
as though it's been reconstructed," says Burrows.
Allen now has to wait for the news. If his case is reviewed it could have
implications for the more than 250 people who have had property confiscated
under the Proceeds of Crime Act.