Mercanti to spend Christmas behind bars
Troy Mercanti. Picture: Ben Crabtree/The West Australian

Notorious bikie Troy Mercanti will spend Christmas behind bars after a judge refused him bail after rejecting his claims he unknowingly ingested methamphetamine during sexual contact with a woman the night before a drug test.

Mr Mercanti was this morning refused bail after District Court chief judge Peter Martino found he had breached his home detention bail last month by taking an illicit drug.

Mr Mercanti spent nine months in custody on charges of assaulting his former partner, Tammy Kingdon, before being released from jail in September when the Supreme Court granted him home detention bail.

His bail was revoked on November 6 after he returned a positive urinalysis test in breach of the strict conditions of his release.

During a bail application this morning, defence lawyer Shane Brennan told the court Mr Mercanti maintained that he had not deliberately ingested any narcotics during a 60th birthday party at his home on November 1.

Mr Brennan said Mr Mercanti had known he was due to be drug tested the following day and he argued he had "unknowingly and unwittingly" ingested the drugs.

He told the court Mr Mercanti may have inadvertently ingested the methamphetamine when he came into contact with another person’s skin, face or clothing and said he "would have hit the roof" if he knew anyone had brought drugs into his home.

"Without question, he totally denies it ever occurred and he, understandably, and I are greatly disappointed in the outcome," Mr Brennan said outside court.

"It’s said that he’s told he had the test, then he goes and gets on the gear, then goes and gives a positive test and loses his liberty. It doesn’t follow."

Mr Brennan said the amount of methamphetamine Mr Mercanti was alleged to have consumed "was one one hundredth of a gram".

"One one hundredth of a gram would be something like a grain of sugar," he said.

In arguing that Mr Mercanti knowingly ingested methamphetamine, State Prosecutor Justin Whalley dismissed Mr Brennan’s argument as "fanciful" and said: "If one can fail a drug test from a sexual encounter, employment tribunals would be full of sacked mine workers".

The court was told that while Mr Mercanti was on bail, he had previously returned nine negative drug tests during a four-week period before his bail was revoked.

In finding Mr Mercanti had voluntarily ingested illicit drugs, Judge Martino said methamphetamine was an insidious drug and people would sometimes succumb to taking it even at great risk.

Judge Martino found that although the positive drug test was the only time Mr Mercanti had consumed illicit drugs while on bail and he said he was not finding him guilty of any offence, there were no bail conditions he could impose which would prevent him from reoffending.

Outside court, Mr Brennan said it would be more difficult for him to prepare for Mr Mercanti’s impending trial with him in custody.

The West Australian

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