Meth lab find was ‘not mine’

STORING a meth lab at his Cootharaba home put Samuel James William Dickes in breach of his parole but did not earn prison time.

Police raided the 55-year-old's property on January 21, 2014, finding items including reaction and condenser vessels as well as glassware, caustic soda and iodine stored in boxes.

Crown prosecutor Michael Gawrych told Maroochydore District Court yesterday it was accepted that the items found in Dickes' possession did not belong to him.

Mr Gawrych said Dickes criminal history spanned three states and included an entry for heroin importation in 1986 and an escape from custody in 2002.

Dickes was sentenced in Brisbane District Court in September 2012 to 18 months in prison for illicit drug production.

He was given immediate parole and was in the last two months of that parole when the meth lab equipment was found.

Defence barrister Simon Lewis said his client had very long-standing substance abuse issues.

Noting Dickes' background, Mr Lewis said his client didn't think it would be a good idea to tell police who the meth lab equipment belonged to or throw it out.

Judge Gary Long sentenced Dickes to 15 months in prison, wholly suspended for three years.

He warned Dickes that if he offended again, he would likely have a difficult time arguing why he shouldn't go to prison.


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