Rob Kidd is a NZME. News Service court reporter based in Auckland.

Couple fund wedding by cooking up meth

Scott Ian McArthur raised the cash for his wedding by manufacturing crystal methamphetamine. Photo / Getty Images
Scott Ian McArthur raised the cash for his wedding by manufacturing crystal methamphetamine. Photo / Getty Images

It's not easy funding a wedding.

Most people scrimp, save or borrow; but Scott Ian McArthur decided to raise the cash by cooking meth.

The 42-year-old avoided a prison term by the narrowest of margins in Auckland District Court last week when he was sentenced for manufacturing the class-A drug and a host of other charges.

In July 2013, police visited McArthur's Hobsonville property, where he lived with then fiancee 37-year-old Moniek Anne Driessen, looking for a stolen car.

They found the vehicle, and much more.

Inside a building was a clandestine P lab, there was methamphetamine and cannabis in the house and under the couple's bed was a loaded pistol with a bullet in the chamber.

McArthur and Driessen were arrested and her son was placed in Child Youth and Family care.

Tests found significant amounts of methamphetamine residue in his hair and he was removed from her custody.

McArthur's lawyer, Peter Kaye, said it had been a one-off enterprise to pay for the impending wedding of the defendants.

He argued it was not done for "commercial gain" as such.

"He acknowledged he f****d up. Those are the words he used," Mr Kaye said.

While on electronically-monitored bail, McArthur had his conditions varied to allow him to marry Driessen and for the pair to run a business together.

Mr Kaye said both factors had seen a huge turnaround in his life.

"It would be completely counter-productive to send him back to jail," he said. "If he were to go back to prison he would lose the business."

There was brief mention of McArthur's criminal history but it can now be revealed he was most recently sentenced to nine years jail for what the Court of Appeal called "horrendous offending" when he and another man kidnapped someone over a drug debt.

McArthur and his accomplice drove the victim to a garage where they hog-tied him and used a rope to hoist him just off the ground.

The pair kicked him in the face and ribs, and hammered his right knee before pouring petrol over his wounds.

Over the next 16 hours, the victim tried to escape from the garage and when McArthur found him unscrewing the hinges of a door, he bound him in a crucifix position and subjected him to another beating, telling the man he would burn him the next day.

Despite the "sadistic and gratuitous" previous offending, Judge Evangelos Thomas sentenced McArthur to a year on home detention and 100 hours of community work.

Crown prosecutor Scott McColgan questioned the approach taken by the judge.

"I cut him a break," Judge Thomas said.

Driessen, who said she did not know about the methamphetamine manufacture, was sentenced to a year's supervision for possessing cannabis.

Justin James Osborne, 38, was jailed for two and a half years after admitting being a party to the drug cook.

- NZME.

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