Meth cook has jail term cut

ROB KIDD
Last updated 13:57 27/03/2013

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One of the country’s most significant meth cooks, who was caught making P while on bail, has had his sentence cut by the Court of Appeal.

In September 2011, 48-year-old Christian Paul Clifton was sentenced to life imprisonment, which was the first life sentence to be handed down for such offending by the District Court.

However, in a decision released today, his jail term was altered to 20 years imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 10 years.

Police Operation Royale in 2009 caught Clifton manufacturing 1.3kg of P in west Auckland and supplying it to a network of buyers, including gang members.

At the time he was on parole after serving a six year, 10-month sentence in 2004 for importing and manufacturing methamphetamine.

He subsequently pleaded guilty to cooking the Class-A drug on 10 occasions.

At a disputed facts hearing, Judge Roy Wade ruled that Clifton would have made at least 1.3kg of P in the 10 cooks and labelled him “one of this country’s most significant methamphetamine manufacturers”.

In March 2011, while on bail awaiting sentence, Clifton was caught red-handed cooking methamphetamine in a shipping container in Wellsford.

During the Court of Appeal hearing, defence counsel argued he was not the “primary player” in the drug network and he faced stand-over tactics from gangs.

Though the court saw no merit in that argument, they said his life sentence was “manifestly excessive” and imposed the substitute of 20 years imprisonment.

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- Fairfax Media

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