Jury excused as drug trial start delayed to Thursday

Legal arguments delayed the start of a case about a family crime syndicate. Photo/Thinkstock
Legal arguments delayed the start of a case about a family crime syndicate. Photo/Thinkstock

A jury in the trial of an alleged family crime syndicate accused of using motels, bach-style accommodation, public storage units and yards to make methamphetamine was excused in the High Court at Whangarei yesterday and told to come back on Thursday.

Legal arguments will delay the start of the trial proper to Thursday when the Crown will make its opening address before the jury of nine women and three men.

Jayne Crompton, 46, Marc Ethelstone, 34, and Dean Frederick Theobald, 40, face 62 charges relating to the possession and manufacture of methamphetamine.

Crompton and Theobald jointly face three charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, two each of possessing precursor substance, possession of equipment, possession of materials, possession of a firearm and single charges of possession of P for supply, possession of explosives, producing a precursor substance, supplying P and conspiracy to manufacture P.

The three are jointly charged with three counts each of manufacturing P, possession of equipment, possession of materials, two of possession of a firearm and single charges of possession of P for supply, possession of explosives and possession of precursor substances.

Crompton and Ethelstone are also jointly charged with conspiracy to manufacture P. Theobald is charged with possession of offensive weapon and aggravated assault.

Crompton faces three charges of supplying P, 11 of offering to supply P, eight of conspiracy to supply P, three of conspiracy to manufacture P and two of conspiracy to supply materials.

Police say they have family in Northland and associates in South Auckland. They were arrested in August 2011 when using top-end holiday accommodation to allegedly make P.

Dealing P carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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