Two busts in two states for addict
CAUGHT by Tweed police doing a drugs ‘cook-up' at a Limpinwood farmhouse near Murwillumbah, John Douglas Webb just days later was caught by Queensland police doing the same thing at his home near Brisbane.
Webb was jailed in Queensland for the Brisbane offences, and last week appeared in Lismore District Court for sentence over the 2004 Tweed matter.
Webb pleaded guilty to the manufacture of a prohibited drug, 56 grams of methylamphetamine at Limpinwood in March 2004.
The Crown prosecutor said Webb was arrested when his Limpinwood landlady visited the farmhouse after becoming worried about his rent payments and found his set-up and chemicals in the roof.
Defence counsel Damian Walsh said his client's drug taking began after the breakdown of his marriage and business.
During cross-examination a straight-speaking Webb said he had been using amphetamines ‘quite a lot' at the time but was now clean after meeting a lady.
“I've ceased using drugs at the end of 2006. I met a beautiful woman,” he told Judge James Black.
He said he had not got to the stage of extracting drugs during the Limpinwood cook.
Mr Webb said his chemistry set-up, including test tubes and the sludge (waste product), were seized by police and sent to Sydney for analysis. After returning to Brisbane he purchased more.
He had been arrested in Brisbane and spent a total of 20 months in jail, including a lengthy time on remand.
Mr Walsh sought a suspended jail sentence for his client on the Tweed offence arguing that only for the state border Webb's matters would have been dealt with at the same time.
The Crown said at $200 to $300 per gram the 56 grams was not insignificant and the matter called for at least a suspended jail sentence because a good behaviour bond would not be appropriate.
Judge Black said the two drug cooks showed Webb had been in ‘a desperate way' and seriously addicted at the time.
“He knew the police were on to him at Limpinwood yet he went on to start another cook,” the judge said.
“He has been rehabilitating himself, has obtained very good work and pays tribute to alady.
“You have done very well to turn yourself around.”
Finding it would be inappropriate for Webb to serve further time in jail the judge sentenced him to 15 months' jail immediately suspended, with a good behaviour bond in place.