Shannon Noll Avoids Criminal Conviction For Cocaine Possession
Singer Shannon Noll has avoided a criminal conviction for cocaine possession, after a Magistrate took into account his good character and selfless charity work.
Appearing in Sutherland Local Court, the 43-year-old was instead punished with a 12-month good behaviour bond.
Noll was caught with a clear resealable plastic bag containing 0.53g of the drug during a police dog operation at the Caringbah Hotel on September 13.
Noll had been drinking and playing pool with friends, when the police dog entered the hotel. He then moved into a secluded corner of the bar, and threw the bag of white powder onto the floor.
He refused to say anything when police questioned him, but in court on Thursday, he pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a prohibited drug.
Noll’s solicitor Bryan Wrench told the court his client had donated more than a million dollars to charity through unpaid gigs and royalties.
This included recent donations to help drought affected farmers.
“He’s not just a good person, he’s a great man who has donated selflessly”, he said.
“He asks for a second chance, to allow him to walk out of this court without a conviction.”
“He’s simply sorry.”
He said Noll suffered from depression following the death of his father and from back pain as a result of an injury sustained during an appearance on Dancing with the Stars.
“He does want to get better”, Wrench said.
“It was a error of judgement and he doesn’t shy away from that.”
Noll provided the court with references from farmers, residents in his home town of Condobolin and from former Australian Idol judges Ian “Dicko” Dickson and Kyle Sandilands.
He has also submitted to three drug tests which show a negative result for ongoing drug use.
Magistrate Glenn Walsh noted his medical issues, and offered his condolences for the death of his father, but did not place great weight on their connection to his cocaine use.
“Mr Noll is not a drug addict”, he said.
However, he said the media coverage of Noll’s “fall from grace” did count as punishment, as did the loss of two paid gigs in the days following his arrest.
“I accept he has a bank of good character that can be called upon”, he said.
The Magistrate said drug use was evil.
“Cocaine is not an Australian product. It’s not made in Australia or grown in Australia. It’s imported from overseas.”
“It supports a drug culture that is nothing but destructive.”
He noted Noll has only one conviction on his record: a mid range drink driving charge from 2004.
Speaking outside court, Noll thanked the Magistrate and his solicitor.
“Just looking forward to putting this behind me and getting back to work”, he said, before leaving court in his four wheel drive.
Noll also hit the headlines in July, when he was caught on camera abusing a member of the crowd during his performance at the Duck Creek Picnic Races in Nyngan.
“I'll punch your f**king teeth down your throat out the back, dog arse prick. Then I'll f**k ya missus and your mum".
Noll said the concert-goer had thrown a near full can of beer, just missing his head.
"I completely understand that this is still no excuse for the way I spoke and I am deeply sorry for the terrible things I said that were purely out of frustration”, he later wrote on Facebook.
In January 2017, Noll was charged with assaulting a bouncer outside an Adelaide strip club, however the charge was later withdrawn.
He rose to fame as the runner up on Network Ten’s Australian Idol during the show’s first season in 2003.
He recently revealed that his wife of 14 years, Rochelle, was pregnant with the couple’s fourth child.
Noll is due to play three Oktoberfest concerts in Victoria over the next month. The first is on Saturday in St Kilda.