A man accused of trying to take possession of over 300 grams of cocaine will argue that he expected the package delivered to his Brownsville address to contain not an illicit drug, but clothing: a pair of pyjama pants.
Stephen Alan Fenn faces trial in the Wollongong District Court on one charge of attempting to possess a marketable quantity of an unlawfully imported drug, between October 3 and October 13 in 2021.
He has pleaded not guilty.
In his opening statement, Crown prosecutor David Jordan told the 12-person jury that on October 3, 2021, Australian Border Force intercepted a package addressed to Fenn's address in Prince Edward Drive, Brownsville from a 'Paul Fenn' in Dublin, Ireland.
The package, which was labelled as containing "chocolate crips [sic]", was found to hold chocolates and chip packets, as well as two boxes of 'Cadbury moist chocolate cake mix'.
Inside these boxes were silver sachets containing about 500 grams of a substance which tested positive for cocaine, with a pure weight of 322.5 grams.
The package was sent to the Australian Federal Police and then to NSW Police Force, who replaced the cocaine with an inert substance and on October 13, 2021 delivered the consignment to Fenn with a NSW Police operative pretending to be a delivery driver.
NSW Police officers searched Fenn's home and interviewed him that evening, but he was released without charge.
The following day, the court heard, Fenn spoke on the phone to a longtime friend named Danny Nikolovski about a vaccine passport.
The Crown alleges this was code for the delivery.
The court heard Fenn told police in an interview that he had no relation nor knew anyone in Ireland with the name Paul Fenn.
The Crown alleges Fenn knew or was reckless to the substantial risk that the package contained a border controlled drug.
Fenn's lawer Patrick Schmidt told the court that there was no dispute that cocaine was contained in packages of chocolate cake mix delivered to Fenn - but his client had no involvement in a plot to import cocaine.
"What you won't hear is any involvement of Mr Fenn prior to this controlled delivery," Mr Schmidt told the jury.
"And why won't you hear it? Because there wasn't any."
Mr Schmidt said the jury would also not hear any evidence of an agreement between Fenn and Nikolovski, nor an agreement with anyone else.
The court heard Fenn had ordered pyjama pants online bearing a quote from the movie Home Alone.
"Mr Fenn had no idea, nor had he any reason to suspect the package was anything than what he ordered and expected," Mr Schmidt said.
He said the jury would hear that police found no drugs nor "unexplained wealth" when they searched Fenn's home.
Fenn had no criminal convictions, Mr Schmidt said, and had served his country.
The trial continues.
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