News

Housemate cooks up an in-home drugs lab

LEARNING how to make meth to sustain his addiction has nearly cost a man time behind bars.

When Dallas Jade Steven Benko had someone move into his Bellbird Park house, he used the chance to learn how to cook meth.

The pair set up a crude clandestine laboratory in the house where the other man taught Benko the processes of making the drug from medicine and chemicals.

In March last year police raided the Jones Rd house, where they found chemicals, the lab, drug utensils and ammunition.

Benko, 31, pleaded guilty at the Ipswich District Court yesterday to producing and possessing dangerous drugs, possessing ammunition without a licence, and a number of other drugs charges.

Crown prosecutor Dominique Orr said the set-up police found was "very unsophisticated".

They found a range of precursor chemicals, including medicine containing pseudoephedrine used to make meth.

Benko admitted to police he'd been using the laboratory to make the drug, having been taught by the housemate, who had by this stage moved out.

He told the police he'd been cooking since Christmas 2012, until a few days before the police raid.

The drug lab was seized and analysed with his fingerprints found on them.

Forensic testing found trace elements of methylamphetamine on most of the items found.

The court heard, from the amount of pseudoephedrine found, there was a theoretical maximum yield of 1.05g of meth.

Police also found a small number of 0.22 calibre bullets, but no guns.

Ms Orr said there was no evidence Benko was operating a commercial drug operation, and was only charged with making meth for his own consumption.

The court heard Benko was making the drugs himself instead of paying more to buy them from a dealer.

A report from a psychologist said Benko was suffering from anxiety and began his meth habit to self-medicate.

The court heard Benko had a limited criminal history of drug and dishonesty charges.

Judge Greg Koppenol said producing meth placed Benko as a major offender.

"You start playing around with drugs like meth, you're playing in the big leagues," he said.

Mr Koppenol said it was only the fact there was no allegation of commerciality that was keeping him out of prison.

"You only get so many chances in life. You should look on this as your chance," he said.

Mr Koppenol sentenced Benko to nine months prison with an immediate release on parole. The drug lab and utensils were forfeited to the Crown for destruction.

Topics:  ipswich district court, possessing dangerous drugs



'How gorillas changed my life'

Annette Henderson lived and worked with gorillas in the African jungle for more than a year and has written a book about her amazing experience.

Author shares her unbelieveable tale of life deep in the jungle

Dead dog no excuse for driving dangerously, court heard

Wood and brass judges gavel on a law book

Man buried his dog the day he was charged for dangerous driving

Divebomber bird attacks in broad daylight

BIRDBRAIN: Alleged QT journalist Joel Gould unfurls the Ricky Ponting pull as Noisy Friarbird, known as Leatherhead, comes in for the kill in the terrifying attack at West Ipswich.

Ipswich fool attacked from the sky by angry bird

Local Partners

Kate goes down fighting in heated Survivor elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Kate Campbell.

YOGA teacher's 'good guys' alliance fails to get off the ground.

Emily Blunt's (almost) singing career

Emily Blunt nearly became the British Britney Spears.

Angelina is blocking calls from Brad Pritt

Angelina Jolie has reportedly blocked Brad Pitt's number.

Apocalyptica 'seek and destroy' sceptics with 'master' set

Apocalyptica play Max Watts in Brisbane on their Shadowmaker Tour.

Review of final show of Apocalyptica's tour

Rebecca Hall doesn't own a TV

Newspapers, yes. Television, not so much

Jaime King 'terrified' by son's heart surgery

Jamie King was "terrified" when her son went in for heart surgery.

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets

Another Ripley development

THE ENTRANCE: An overview of the last planned development for the fast growing Ripley area.

85 more home lots released

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'