Meth cook says he didn't know equipment was for drug lab

WHEN a convicted meth cook was asked to buy goods from Bunnings for a friend, he didn't notice it was all for use in a new meth lab.

Michael Andrew Hayes, 44, avoided further actual jail time after pleading guilty at the Ipswich District Court to producing dangerous drugs, possessing dangerous drugs, and possessing things used in the production of drugs.

On June 21 last year police executed a search warrant on a property in Adare, north of Gatton. They found Hayes and two others sitting around a table outside.

Police found a lab, in the process of cooking a batch of methylamphetamine, in the laundry of the house and more equipment for labs in sheds and a trailer.

Hayes' fingerprints were found on some of the glassware used in the lab.

Police found a Bunnings receipt for some of the equipment used in the lab. When they examined CCTV from the store, police found Hayes buying the items.

The court heard Hayes didn't know what he was buying when he picked the goods up for his friend. He was not charged with being the main cook.

All of the property seized by police was analysed and found to contain traces of methylamphetamine or precursor chemicals used in the creation of the drug.

The court heard Hayes' seven pages of criminal history, with almost yearly entries for drug offences. He had twice been jailed for cooking meth.

Hayes was returned to prison for breaching his parole on prior drug production offences when he was arrested on the Adare offence.

He told the court he was finished with drugs, having lost his teeth and vision from overuse.

"My body's given out on me. I can't do it anymore," he said to the court.

Judge Greg Koppenol said he accepted Hayes hadn't bought the products with the intention of making a meth lab, but he knew quickly what was happening.

"When you arrived at the property and saw how fast the co-offenders grabbed the items ... the penny dropped and you realised you'd been used," he said.

He was sentenced to two years jail, and given immediate parole with the time he'd spent in jail since being arrested taken into account.



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