Temuka home used as meth lab

Last updated 05:00 23/02/2013

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Hair samples taken from children at a Temuka address confirmed the home had been used as a P lab.

Brian Mathew Latta, 65, was sentenced in the Timaru District Court yesterday to five years' imprisonment on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine and cultivation of cannabis. His partner, Nicola Beatrice Gardiner, 51, pleaded guilty to a charge of knowingly permitting a premises to be used for the manufacture of methamphetamine (P) and was sentenced to eight months' home detention by Judge Joanna Maze.

The case dated back to February 18, 2011, when armed offenders squad officers searched the Ormsby St home.

The search uncovered chemicals and equipment for the manufacture of P and traces of P were found on an extractor fan. Hair samples taken from children at the address showed traces of P.

In sentencing Judge Maze noted it was the second home Latta had used to produce drugs where children had been involved, having been charged with growing cannabis at a Dunedin address in February 2010.

"Yet again a woman and children are part of the process and yet again you have used your mobility; moving around the countryside, calling on old friendships and associations with people to support your own addiction problems. There is something predatory about it."

Latta was sentenced to 4 years for the manufacture of P and an additional six months for cultivating cannabis. Gardiner was spared jail due to having no previous drug convictions.

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- The Timaru Herald

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