Meth cook has jail term cut
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.