THE Nirranda mud-brick house at the centre of a long drug confiscation case has been taken off the market.
Ray White Warrnambool real estate agent Rodney Roberts said the property at 71 Mathiesons Road, Nirranda, was scheduled to go under the hammer as a mortgage sale on Wednesday, October 3, but was withdrawn prior to the auction.
“It was taken off the market as the solicitors needed to organise a few things. It could be placed back on the market in future,” he said.
“The solicitors needed to work on a few things on the section 32 — it has to be refigured. It was a bit of a pain in the backside. The hold-up was to do with building permits which were well out of date,” he said.
Self-confessed pothead Robbie Moloney had been living in his since-confiscated home after being arrested in 2008. It is understood that Mr Moloney was ordered out of his former home earlier this year.
Mr Roberts said he thought he was acting solely on behalf of a bank but the situation became more complicated.
“We thought we were dealing with a bank but it turned out to be the bank, solicitors and the Department Of Justice,” he said.
“It was a tough one. I’ve never had a job like it and I hope I never have another one like it again.”
It is understood the reserve sale price was $320,000 — the price previously mentioned in criminal court proceedings.
David Castelino, of Melbourne’s Gadens Lawyers, was yesterday unable to provide a comment in relation to the potential sale of the property.
Almost two years ago The Standard reported that after a long court battle Mr Moloney had lost his home and been left with a legal bill of about $400,000.
Three judges sitting in the Supreme Court of Victoria Court of Appeal reversed a previous County Court decision made in 2010 which allowed Moloney to keep his home and awarded him $262,720 in costs.
Mr Moloney lost his house and will have to foot those costs, plus the Office of Public Prosecution appeals costs of about $170,000 — a total legal bill of about $400,000.
The Solicitor for Public Prosecutions, Craig Hyland, said at the time the appeal win was an excellent result for the OPP’s proceeds of crime team.
“The Court of Appeal has upheld the appeal, which not only reimburses the state, but validates the way the DPP prosecuted the trial,” he said.
In 2008 Moloney was charged with cultivating a commercial quantity (55kg) of cannabis.