News

Meth lab hidden from parents

A MAN who set up a mobile methamphetamine lab in his parents' home without their knowledge escaped jail yesterday after the judge said he saw "considerable hope for rehabilitation".

Nathan Robert Howlett pleaded guilty in Bundaberg District Court to producing more than two grams of a dangerous drug, and possessing items used in connection with drug offences.

Crown prosecutor Lily Brisick told the court police raided an address last August where the 23 year old lived with his parents.

There they found Howlett, who confessed he had set up a mobile laboratory and produced speed over a 12-month period.

Ms Brisick said police also found utensils and materials used to produce and use drugs and the Crown accepted Howlett was taking drugs at the time. Howlett also admitted he had used speed for five to six years.

Defence barrister Peter Richards said his client was dependant on drugs at the time, but since then had turned his life around, taking on an electrical apprenticeship with his father.

In sentencing Howlett to 12 months' imprisonment wholly suspended for two years for producing a dangerous drug, Judge John Robertson said the case was quite unusual because despite his significant drug habit, Howlett was able to hold down a job and maintain critical family relationships.

"There is considerable hope for rehabilitation," he said.

The judge told Howlett that speed was a particularly nasty form of a dangerous drug and if he failed to stay away from the substance, he would almost certainly end up committing future offences and would go to jail.

"The choice to stick a needle in your arm is a choice you make," Judge Robertson said.

The judge urged Howlett to acknowledge the supportive role his parents had played by allowing him to continue to reside with them despite him hiding the mobile drug lab in their family home, and to think about his future.

Howlett was also sentenced to two years' probation.

Topics:  bundaberg district court, methamphetamines, meth lab, rehabilitation




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

MUMS' TOP 5: 'Musts' to have on your childcare checklist

SOME FALL SHORT: Organisations that train childcare workers will be subjected to extra audits.

SENDING your child off to day care can be daunting and confusing.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Arson suspected after blaze lights up The Hummock

Fire crews work to put out a fire on The Hummock

Fire crews work to put out fire on The Hummock

$1.8m boost for Baldwin Swamp cycle path

Flying along on his bike, Charlie Batterham loves the tracks at Baldwin Park Swamp. Photo: Scottie Simmonds bal2007c

It will link pathways at Baldwin Swamp with the Ring Road

How to make your home fire-safe for winter

RISK REDUCTION: Acting Inspector Gary Channells says permanent heaters – wood and fuel – need a yearly service.

Firie's top tips for reducing fire risk

Latest deals and offers

Car crashes into shop

White sedan crashes into shop on Walker St.

Hey Mumma, how important is me time for mums?

HEY MUMMA: Annika Warren with Pippa talks about 'How important is 'me-time' for mums?' Photo: Paul Donaldson / NewsMail

Anika Warren shares her view on how important is me time for mums?

Hey Mumma, which is better, private or public schools?

HEY MUMMA: Annika Warren with Pippa talks about 'Private versus public school - which is better and why?' Photo: Paul Donaldson / NewsMail

Anika Warren explains her view on which is better, private or public schools?

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%