A convicted murderer and player in the Mr Asia drug syndicate has admitted further drug offending.

Patrick Norton-Bennett and his then wife Jennifer Norton-Bennett were convicted of a drug-related murder in 1988 in the Coromandel, in what was described at the time as a "drug deal gone wrong".

He was sentenced to life in prison and then tried, but failed, to appeal his murder conviction in 1990.

He was released in 2001, however he has been in and out of jail since for further offending.


Norton-Bennett, known as Patrick Bennett, was understood to have been an associate of the Mr Asia kingpin Terry Clark, a small time burglar originally from Gisborne.

The Mr Asia drug syndicate trafficked heroin into New Zealand, Australia and Britain in the 1970s and was believed to be responsible for several murders.

He was nearly sent back to jail in 2009 after cannabis plants and seedlings were found in his sleepout.

Despite being found guilty he escaped a prison recall. However, he was given another two-year stint in 2011 after admitting a burglary charge.

However, Norton-Bennett, now aged 70, was back in the Hamilton District Court today appearing via audiovisual link where he admitted a charge of possessing methamphetamine for supply.

Norton-Bennett was busted with the drug in a car he and an associate had got out of while stopping at the Mobil Karapiro on May 27 this year.

Officers found a zip lock bag containing 158g of pure methamphetamine in a compartment underneath the driver's seat of the Mercedes.

A set of electronic scales were found in the driver's door side pocket.


A later search of a Hamilton motel unit, also found 3.9g of P, a glass pipe and 35 small point zip lock bags.

Norton-Bennett's lawyer Mark Sturm told Judge Simon Menzies his client would like to reappear via audiovisual link for his sentencing, however that was turned down by the judge.

Judge Menzies convicted Norton-Bennett and remanded him in further custody until sentencing in January.

Meanwhile, Norton-Bennett has been in custody since July after the parole board recalled him back to prison.

The board held a hearing at Spring Hill Prison in July where he was being held.

Sturm submitted that his client opposed the recall despite the offending and said he could be managed on parole with electronic monitoring.

At that stage, he had denied the offending and submitted that his client had health issues.

However, that was opposed by probation staff, who said his release would place him at "undue risk of offending".

The Parole Board declined to release Norton-Bennett, kept him behind bars, while his parole would be next addressed in December.