Cop killer sentenced on drugs charges

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 12:35 05/07/2013
Don Wilkinson
KILLED: Don Wilkinson was undercover when he was shot.
KILLER: Drug dealer John Ward Skinner during his 2010 sentencing for Don Wilkinson's murder.

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The drug operation that led to the death of undercover policeman Don Wilkinson has finally been brought to a close.

Wilkinson, 46, was shot dead by drug dealer John Ward Skinner after Skinner disturbed Wilkinson and another officer planting a tracking device on his car in September 2008.

He and another man chased the officers, cornered them and Skinner shot them both with a high-powered air rifle, killing Wilkinson and seriously injuring the other officer.

After the murder, police obtained search warrants and found conclusive proof of the extensive drug-manufacturing operation Wilkinson had been investigating.

Already serving a life sentence for the killing, Skinner was today sentenced in the Auckland District Court to three years for the drug offending.

The Crown conceded the sentencing was "largely an academic exercise" as it was not going to add any time to Skinner's life sentence or his 15 year-minimum-non-parole period.

Skinner pleaded guilty to possessing pre-cursor substances for manufacturing methamphetamine, possessing materials for its manufacture and possessing the equipment to make the drug.

Crown prosecutor Scott McColgan said at three addresses related to Skinner, police found 1.3 kilograms of ContacNT - the pseudoephedrine-laden Chinese cough medicine used to make methamphetamine.

That amount of precursor would have yielded between 270 and 405 grams of meth.

The police summary detailed a large-scale and sophisticated enterprise. Police found precursors, materials and equipment at an address in Hain Ave, Mangere, including a 200-litre drum of ethanol.

At a storage unit in Onehunga they found bottles of various acids, pseudoephedrine cold and flu products, containers and jars full of various chemicals and several pieces of chemistry glassware.

At a safe deposit vault at ASB Vault on Albert St, central Auckland, police discovered a further 1.36kg of pseudoephedrine.

Judge David Harvey was careful to separate the drug offending from the violence and said he was purely focusing on the methamphetamine operation as the murder had already been dealt with.

He sentenced Skinner to three years to be served concurrently with his current sentence.

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