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A Maketu man spotted armed police outside a shed he was allegedly manufacturing methamphetamine (P) in, prompting him to smash much of the evidence and set fire to the building, a High Court jury has heard.
Tauranga prosecutor Jasper Rhodes said that, minutes before the fire erupted, Karl Rodney Goldsbury and Terrence William Jones had rolled out from under the industrial shed's door, saw police and immediately rolled back in, setting about smashing equipment associated with making methamphetamine before torching the building.
When police forced their way in, Goldsbury was sitting in a chair and made no attempt to run off, despite the flames licking through the building, Mr Rhodes said.
"The Crown says the huge fire was deliberately lit to destroy the shed and manufacturing process, that this was a dramatic end to his [Goldsbury's] involvement in the methamphetamine trade."
Goldsbury is charged with arson, supplying material to manufacture methamphetamine, conspiring to supply methamphetamine and possessing material for its manufacture.
He is also jointly charged with Whare with manufacturing methamphetamine and, with Kimber, supplying it.
In addition, he is charged with Carroll, Jones and Farrow with conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine, and together with Jones attempting to pervert the course of justice. Mr Rhodes opened the Crown's case yesterday.
Farrow has pleaded not guilty to offering to supply methamphetamine to her sister on the day of the fire.
At the start of the trial, Jones pleaded guilty to an offering to supply charge. The charges cover a period in 2012 between September 19-December 8, when the building ignited.
Mr Rhodes said the jury would hear that the methamphetamine operation the charges related to was professional, underground and a black market for selling P.
The trial is before Justice Patrick Keane and is scheduled to run for two weeks.
- By Jill Nicholas of the Bay of Plenty Times