Chemist dobs in South Gladstone meth cook
A GLADSTONE man who made ice in a home laboratory learned the recipe from the internet, a court has heard.
Glenn Francis Farugia, 47, made the drug using cold and flu medication purchased by himself and a friend, Gavin Richard Cornick, 56.
Both men pleaded guilty in Gladstone District Court to producing ice, possessing cannabis and possessing condensers used to make the ice.
Farugia also pleaded guilty to possessing bongs, and other items used to make the ice, including glass pipes, scales and UV lights.
Crown prosecutor Alexandra Baker told the court the two men had been reported to police after pharmacists noticed them buying a suspicious amount of cold and flu medication.
Ms Baker said the pseudoephedrine in cold and flu medication was a key ingredient in the manufacture of ice.
She said each man had bought about 50 packets of the medication during the course of about a year.
Ms Baker said a search on Farugia's South Gladstone home on February 29 last year found a fully assembled laboratory, although it wasn't in use at the time.
She said other chemicals used to make ice were found in the kitchen, and traces of ice were found in the laboratory equipment, meaning "at least one production had occurred".
Ms Baker said Farugia told police he had learned how to make ice on the internet, and had only made 1g one time for his own personal use.
She said Farugia made the ice and Cornick was a party to the crime for helping get the cold and flu medication.
Farugia's barrister Maree Willey said her client had struggled with alcohol and drug addiction for a number of years, but was undergoing counselling.
She said the father-of-two had been evicted from his home following the search but had since found somewhere else to live.
Cornick's barrister Jordan Ahlstrand said his client was an unemployed volunteer and a father-of-six.
Mr Ahlstrand said Cornick had been free from drugs since being charged.
Judge Michael Burnett said he didn't necessarily believe Farugia's story that he had only cooked one batch of ice.
"It makes me wonder what happened to the other 98 boxes (of cold and flu medication)," Judge Burnett said.
He noted the chemicals found in the home could have made another 8g of ice.
Judge Burnett acknowledged Farugia as the principal offender and Cornick as a party offender.
He sentenced Farugia to 15 months in jail, suspended after five months for 30 months, and Cornick to 12 months in jail, suspended after four months for 25 months.