'Priest' in LSD court appeal

A SELF-proclaimed priest with a thick beard, hair tied back and wearing a bell, had his appeal against a drug conviction dismissed when he appeared in sittings of the District Court in Grafton yesterday.

Christopher Paul Salmon, 26, who said he was a priest in the Gnostic Church, told the court the three small amounts of LSD in his possession when he was picked up from a train in South Grafton in August last year were for sacramental purposes.

He also brought to the court a bottle of herbal liqueur he said was also for sacraments.

“I am not a criminal,” he told His Honour Judge Lakatos.

“There is no victim and without a victim there is no crime.

“There is a duty to rebel against laws that are unjust.”

Judge Lakatos said Salmon was entitled to his views unless they conflicted with the laws of the land.

He said Salmon’s behaviour was sufficiently disturbing for other passengers on the train that police were called to offer assistance.

He said Salmon had appeared intoxicated on the train and police were concerned for his wellbeing.

Police claimed he had struggled when they attempted to put him in a police vehicle.

When convicted in the local court, Salmon was fined $200 on each of three charges. Yesterday that fine was reduced to a total of close to $200.

When asked for his response to the sentence, Salmon said simply ‘God bless you’.

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