THE family of a Wagga man cleared of serious firearm charges this week have spoken of their personal “hell” while he spent 12 days behind bars following his arrest.
Bradley Neil Chisholm was arrested on July 20 last year and charged with supplying a prohibited firearm to an unauthorised person, supplying ammunition to an an unauthorised person and unauthorised supply of a prohibited firearm.
Police in Wagga Local Court on Wednesday withdraw all charges against 43-year-old Mr Chisholm.
Mr Chisholm was refused bail by a registrar on July 21 last year – the day after his arrest – but released on August 1 after relatives put up $60,000 bail surety.
The breadwinner of a young family had the charges hanging over his head for more than six months before this week’s development.
“This bloke was put in jail and would have still been in jail if family didn’t put up the bail money,” said a relative, who asked not to be named.
“It’s unfortunate he is an innocent man who was portrayed as a criminal.
“He has been to hell with this and there is no evidence (against him) and they have thrown it out.
“In saying that, I know police have a job to do, and it’s a very tough job, but this is one they got wrong.
“This could happen to me, it could happen to you – it’s just wrong.”
During his time in custody, Mr Chisholm was shuffled through prisons at Junee, Bathurst and Sydney, which prevented any visits from his family.
The relative said Mr Chisholm’s time in jail was difficult.
“It was pretty ordinary for someone who has never been in jail and with no experience of it whatsoever,” he said.
The negative impact of the charging and custody is still being felt.
“This has had a massive effect on his business,” the relative said. “The stress and everything he has been through is terrible.
“As good as it is to hear in court the charges have been withdrawn and dismissed you don’t get an explanation why.”
The relative described Mr Chisholm as “just a fantastic bloke with an unblemished record”.
“He is a lovable bloke who everyone likes,” he said.
“He is not a criminal by any stretch of the imagination.”
Wagga crime manager, Detective Inspector Darren Cloake, said he was not able to comment extensively on Mr Chisholm’s case because three other men charged as a result of the same investigation were still before the court.
He said there were mechanisms Mr Chisholm could use if he wanted to lodge a complaint over his arrest.