A former ABC radio presenter who allegedly attempted to sell drugs to an undercover police officer when he was caught with a $600,000 cache of narcotics has been issued a stern warning.
Ashley Norman Hall did not appear before Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court as he faces 23 charges, including eight counts of supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug.
Police allege the 52-year-old former executive producer of the national broadcaster’s flagship radio program AM used Sydney CBD hotel rooms to run a large-scale drug operation.
Specialist officers investigating alleged drug supply rings in the CBD swooped on Mr Hall in December 2022 before twin raids on hotel rooms on Wentworth and Bond streets.
Lawyer Patrick Alvaro told the court on Thursday that he would be seeking an adjournment while Mr Hall, who is in custody on remand, applied for public legal representation.
“He (Hall) has asked a barrister for advice in the committal process and has made an application for Legal Aid. We are waiting to hear back,” Mr Alvaro told magistrate Clare Farnan.
While not opposed by the police prosecutor, the application came under fire by Ms Farnan who said the matter had been listed five times for committal and “must proceed” next month.
A previous application to have the committal process adjourned was heard in July after the court was told Mr Hall was no longer represented by Sydney solicitor Sharon Ramsden.
The court was also told that Mr Hall’s co-accused, who have not been named, had already had their matters sent to Sydney’s District Court, the end result of the committal process.
Mr Hall earlier this year failed in a bid to be released on bail on medical grounds, with the court being told at the time he needed a hernia operation and had been attacked in jail with a thong.
The court was previously told that police alleged Mr Hall sold drugs to an undercover officer, and the prosecution case against him was described by officers as “very strong”
Police allegedly uncovered a stockpile of drugs worth $600,000 during the raids, including MDMA tablets, cocaine, 700g of methamphetamine, and more than 1kg of cannabis.
Before he left the public broadcaster, Mr Hall was the executive producer for AM as well as working as a reporter and presenter for ABC Local Radio, PM, and The World Today.
He will reappear before the same court on October 26 for committal.