An estate agent facing meth and perjury charges has taken the stand in her own defence, saying "coded" language which police claim she used to discuss drugs was simply real estate banter.
Tonya Maree Spicer, 47, and her husband Paul Anthony Spicer are on trial at Auckland District Court jointly charged with possessing methamphetamine for supply.
Police allege they received an unknown quantity of P from high-end drug dealer Brett Campbell Bogue on or about October 6, 2012.
On Monday, the jury was told the Spicers allegedly used terms like "contracts" and "sale and purchase agreements" to discuss buying the drug during intercepted communications with Bogue, recorded during a major 2012 police operation code named Enzone.
Tonya Spicer's lawyer Ron Mansfield yesterday told the court the Spicers had no knowledge of Bogue's P dealing network, despite knowing him for years.
"It might be suggested you were looking for a commercial quantity of meth to sell to your clients ... Is that the case?" Mansfield asked.
"One hundred per cent not," she replied.
The court heard she was employed by Ray White's Paihia office at the time of the alleged offending but now worked for Bayleys, which was aware of the charges. Mansfield said Tonya Spicer was professional and well regarded, with no previous convictions.
"She's a wife, mother and someone who has worked very hard for what she's got."
He described Bogue, who pleaded guilty to supply charges in 2014, as a "gregarious type of character".
"Friends know a certain persona of individual but not necessarily the entire persona. Those involved in drug dealing don't go round and indicate it to people."
Mansfield said Bogue had work done through Paul Spicer's paint and panel business on at least two vehicles.
But the court heard Paul Spicer was "sloppy" when it came to paperwork and invoicing, with Bogue's debt to the couple ballooning to $11,000.
The Spicers were under growing financial pressure, having to lay off staff, and Tonya Spicer struggling to make real estate sales amid a "drought" of listings.
"You might hear the level of desperation in their voice," Mansfield said, referring to intercepted conversations played to the jury, which the couple say related to money, not narcotics.
The court was also told Bogue was professionally linked to the couple through the real estate industry, and was helping them sell their holiday bach near Tokoroa.
Contract documents on the bach were prepared by Bogue and sent to the Spicers through a friend, Mansfield said.
Police allege references to "contracts" were actually code for a meth deal, with the drug delivered to the Spicers' house just days later.
Mansfield refuted this suggestion and blamed drug squad police officers for misinterpreting "mundane" conversations about a real estate transaction.
"If you spend enough time [listening to intercepted conversations] you start hearing what you think might be there rather than what has been spoken ... which sadly has happened in this case."
Taking the stand, Tonya Spicer outlined the couple's dire financial situation, and Bogue's growing debt, which became a source of frustration.
She said references in recorded conversations to contracts, listings and viewings were simply "real estate banter", not drug talk.
The large number of texts and calls to Bogue were attempts to meet and recoup money so they could pay bills.
The trial before Judge Rob Ronayne continues.