AT the outset of Craig Lembke's drug importation trial in Newcastle District Court, Public Defender Peter Krisenthal told the jury his client was a "dreamer" and a "romantic", a man driven not by money and material goods but sailing and music.
And on Friday, at the conclusion of the prosecution case, Mr Krisenthal called three of Mr Lembke's long-term friends to reiterate how out of character those who knew him best viewed his arrest and alleged involvement in a plot to import 700 kilograms of cocaine from Tahiti to Australia.
"I was totally shocked when I heard the the charges had been brought against our friend, because it was just so out of character for him," one man said. "I truly believe that he had no knowledge of what he's been charged with."
The three men, who knew Mr Lembke through sailing, modelling and music, described him in glowing terms, labeling him "respected", "kind", "loyal", "empathetic" and "trustworthy" among other superlatives.
They said he was motivated by his twin passions of music and sailing and was not driven by money or status. One man described Mr Lembke as "probably one of Australia's best saxophonists", but said despite that Mr Lembke was not interested in taking his band to "greater heights".
The three character witnesses were the only evidence called in reply to the prosecution case, with Mr Lembke not being called to give evidence.
With the prosecution case closed after some five weeks of evidence and Mr Lembke's case concluding in less than an hour, that leaves the defence case for Mr Lembke's co-accused, Western Australian man Daniel Percy, on Monday before closing addresses.