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Bada Bing cafe owner admits making marijuana-laced brownies, but says he never sold them

By Joanna Menagh

CCTV shows the family in the cafe, and a waitress plating up a brownie from a cake display.

The owner of a popular Perth cafe has admitted making cannabis laced brownies at his home, but denied that they ever ended up at his business and were sold to a family — including two young children — who ended up in hospital.

Nathan Sharp, 42, is on trial on charges of selling unsuitable food to the Hoysted-Maxwell family at his Woodlands cafe, Bada Bing, on a busy Saturday morning in March 2019.

The two brownies were eaten by Sharon Hoysted, her daughter, Emily, 5, and her son Tom, 3, who were found to be intoxicated by cannabis after going to hospital.

Mr Sharp denies any wrongdoing, testifying today that he had nothing to do with baking of the brownies that were sold in his cafe, which had been made by his sister on the premises.

He admitted using cannabis butter given to him by a friend to make brownies at his home about five months earlier — but said he threw them out after taking them on a holiday to Rottnest Island.

He said he had only had one taste of the cannabis brownies, which were “not very good”.

When his portable fridge/freezer broke down, Mr Sharp said the rest of the brownies spoiled and he had to put them in the rubbish about a month later.

“I know I made them at home, I know how I stored them at home, I know the transit from the boat to Rottnest and on my return them going in the bin, and I know there is no possibility of any contamination,” he said.

Mix-up ‘not possible’

The court was earlier told Mr Sharp allegedly told a police officer the cannabis brownies must have become “mixed up” with the ones for the business, but today he maintained he did not make that comment.

He said he told the officer about making the brownies with the cannabis butter and about later throwing them out, but he insisted he did not say there might have been “a mix-up.”

When asked if a mix-up could have happened Mr Sharp replied “I would say it’s not possible … not at all.”

The court has been told Ms Hoysted’s partner Michael Maxwell, the father of the children, returned to the cafe the next day and bought another brownie, which also tested positive to cannabis.

Mr Sharp testified he had “no idea” how that happened.

His lawyer Tom Percy QC questioned him about his cannabis use.

Mr Sharp said said the last time he had consumed the drug, before making the cannabis butter brownies, was about 11 years ago, at a bucks party when he “took a puff” of a marijuana cigarette.

He said it left him felling pretty sick and given that experience he now realised it was “a stupid thing to do” to make the brownies.

“I question that myself today, because it’s not something I partake in any more,” he said.

Family ‘unruly’, cafe owner says

Later in his evidence, Mr Sharp said he did remember the Maxwell family being in the cafe, because they “stood out.”

“The kids were extremely loud and unruly,” Mr Sharp said.

“I don’t mean to be rude but they’re probably one of the worst families we’ve seen. Their behaviour was causing a scene.”

The magistrate is expected to reserve her decision when the trial ends.

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