Drug accused breached bail
Two men implicated in the country's first alleged production of the date-rape drug GSL are back in custody for allegedly breaching their bail only hours after it was granted.
Shane George Prout, a 39-year-old forklift operator from Leamington, and a 25-year-old Morrinsville man with name suppression were arrested on drug charges including supplying a precursor material for the production of the class-B drug, before being granted bail on Friday.
The pair join four others who also appeared last week, after police swooped on a clandestine laboratory at a rural address west of Huntly.
A late change of bail address for Prout meant the pair were held for longer than expected and missed their ride home.
Though Prout's lawyer, Kit Clews, had originally proffered a Cambridge address it went in front of another judge and was changed at the last minute to one in Morrinsville, as with the co-accused.
With no money or phones, the men – who had been ordered by Judge Glen Marshall not to associate – set off walking the 30 kilometres to Morrins-ville and only got a lift halfway.
They eventually made it back to the house of the man with name suppression and police found them together in the early hours of Saturday morning, with Prout having consumed half a beer.
Defence counsel Charles Bean called it "a debacle" and said his client did the best he could to get home on time to meet his curfew.
He asked for the 25-year-old to be rebailed but Judge Marshall was not confident the two men could be kept apart.
"I was very, very clear with bail conditions set out and I indicated consequences of any breach," the judge said.
Mr Bean said it could be "a heck of a long haul towards a trial", perhaps two years away, and his client was keen not to spend that time in prison.
Prout and the co-accused were remanded in custody until June when they could apply for electronically-monitored bail.