21 Sep 2011

Life sentence for drug manufacturing

6:50 pm on 21 September 2011

A man who manufactured methamphetamine has received one of the longest sentences ever handed down for the crime.

Christian Clifton appeared on Wednesday at the Auckland District Court for manufacturing more than $1 million worth of methamphetamine, also known as "P".

He was jailed for life with a minimum non-parole period of 10 years. It is the first time a district court has handed down such a sentence for this crime.

Detective Sergeant John Sowter led the Auckland drug squad Operation Royale in 2009 that targeted Clifton and 11 other drug and arms dealers.

Mr Sowter says Clifton had already made 1.3kg of methaphetamine and was making another 700g when caught - a combined amount worth well over $1 million.

Clifton's lawyer Paul Dacre says it is rare even for higher courts to impose such a sentence for drug dealing and an appeal will be lodged as soon as possible.

But Crown prosecutor Scott McColgan says Clifton was one of the most prolific and frenetic "P" cooks and the unprecedented sentence is appropriate.