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Convicted meth cook's appeal fails

ANNA LOREN
Last updated 05:00 23/07/2014

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A P cook serving 16 years in prison has failed in his bid to get his convictions overturned.

Bernard Alan Devries was found guilty at a retrial in the Papakura District Court of manufacturing methamphetamine in Karaka in 2010.

A police search of the property on May 20 that year found an "unusually large" laboratory, 165mg of P (methamphetamine) and $94,840 cash.

Devries was also found guilty of possessing related equipment, precursor substances and materials and of possessing and supplying methamphetamine.

He is serving concurrent terms of between three and five years for those offences.

Devries appealed his manufacturing conviction on the grounds that Judge Jonathan Moses "should have directed the jury to be cautious" when deciding to accept the evidence of the Crown's principal witnesses Jeremy Smith and Arlene Crosbie.

They admitted they had allowed Devries to use their property to make P and had received a discounted sentence for evidence against him.

Defence counsel Jonathan Wiles said they had "every reason" to lie to justify their heavily reduced sentences.

Devries also contended his trial counsel Paul Dacre failed to call a "crucial" witness.

But Court of Appeal Justice Patrick Keane found the judge "directed the jury fully and accurately as to why they needed to be cautious" when accepting Smith and Crosbie's evidence.

Devries also appealed his sentence, contending there was an "unjustifiable disparity" between it and the five-year sentence imposed on Smith for manufacturing, possessing and supplying methamphetamine. As his conviction appeal failed, that was found to have no basis.

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- Papakura Courier

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