Former Test cricket star to get ‘expedited’ trial over cocaine supply

Former Test spin bowler Stuart MacGill should learn before the end of the year whether he will be convicted over a large cocaine supply as his alleged kidnappers await the outcome of the case.

The 53-year-old appeared at Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court on Friday, when he pleaded not guilty to one count of taking part in the supply of a prohibited drug.

MacGill is alleged to have supplied one kilogram of cocaine in the suburb of Neutral Bay, on Sydney’s lower north shore, on or around April 8, 2021.

Stuart MacGill leaves the Downing Centre Local Court, in Sydney
Stuart MacGill will have his trial over a purported cocaine deal expedited as his alleged kidnappers wait to see if he will be convicted. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins))

His defence solicitor, Thos Hodgson, urged the court on Friday to hold a speedy trial.

“The arraignment was expedited upon the basis there are some concurrent proceedings … where there’s an alleged kidnapping of my client,” he told Judge Timothy Gartelmann.

“The Crown and I were hoping we might be able to get fairly expedited dates.”

Six men are currently in court over an alleged kidnapping of the ex-cricketer purportedly connected to the drug deal.

They were due to stand trial in October, but this was postponed after police arrested MacGill over the alleged cocaine supply.

All six accused have pleaded not guilty to their roles in the alleged kidnap plot.

In vacating the kidnapping trial, a judge noted the connection between the two cases and the difficulties that holding the trial would have posed, given the ongoing drug supply matter.

On Friday, Gartelmann scheduled the former international spin bowler’s trial to commence on November 18.

It will run for an estimated five to seven days.

After the alleged kidnapping, MacGill told police he was repeatedly punched in the head during the incident, causing him to become concussed. 

He also said he was forced into a car at Cremorne on Sydney’s north shore and taken to Bringelly, south of Sydney.

Three assailants allegedly tried to extort money from him before dropping him at Belmore about an hour later.

At a previous hearing for two of the alleged kidnappers, a judge said there was “some question” of whether MacGill got into the car willingly.

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