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Thursday, 25 December 2008

Mark Standen, arrested over a $120 million drug conspiracy, is being driven to the edge of mental illness by his life in prison

Mark Standen, arrested over a $120 million drug conspiracy, is being driven to the edge of mental illness by his life in prison, a court heard yesterday.Spending almost every day of his remand isolated in a maximum security cell, the one-time NSW Crime Commission assistant director has been verbally abused by other inmates.
As he asked for bail at Central Local Court yesterday, Standen's defence barrister Greg Farmer said Standen was subjected to "an onerous type of custody brought about merely by the fact that he is who he is. There is a risk that if it continues he will suffer a psychiatric illness."Court documents reveal how the former crime fighter has been spending his time at Long Bay Jail since he was arrested in June, charged with conspiring to import enough pseudoephedrine to make $120 million worth of the drug ice.He spends most days alone in his cell. When he uses a larger yard or the gym, he is locked in alone."His activities in the yard are limited to throwing a basketball and chasing it, hitting a tennis ball against a wall and jogging around," according to an affidavit sworn by his solicitor Gordon Elliot.Standen, 47, is due to sit his final law exams in March, but has no access to computers, educational activities or the library.But magistrate Allan Moore refused his bail application, saying it was "a substantial case" and Standen's knowledge of police methodology made him a flight risk. He will face court again in February.


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