A man who died from toxic fumes caused by the P-lab he had set up in a Coromandel cave would probably be alive today were it not for a police cock-up.
The bodies of Grant Wyllie, 49, and Kerry Alexander Murphy, 40, were retrieved from an abandoned mine shaft near Whitianga on October 13.
The pair had set up a makeshift methamphetamine lab and it's believed a petrol-powered generator caused them to die from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Murphy should not have been there.
A year before his death, charges of possession of methamphetamine for supply and possession of equipment used to manufacture the Class A drug were thrown out of court.
Justice Allan granted the Sunday Star-Times access to a High Court file which shows Murphy was caught "red handed" with 1.67 kilograms of P - worth around $1.5 million - in his Morrinsville home in May, 2009.
However, "conscious recklessness" by police, who were eventually found to have misled the court, meant the evidence found during the warrantless search was unusable and Murphy was released.
We've seen a few very biased anti-police stories over the years, but this one takes the biscuit. The police did not make Kerry Murphy become a P-cook. The police did not make Kerry Murphy become a drug dealer. The police did not make Kerry Murphy and his mate set up a P-lab in a cave with poor ventilation, using a petrol generator which produced exhaust fumes. Those were all choices that Kerry Murphy made.
Murphy should have thanked his lucky stars that he didn't get sent down for a very long time for possessing $1.5m worth of methamphetamine. But to suggest that it's all the police's fault that Murphy later made the decisions he made is absurd.
We all make dozens of decisions every day. Some of them are good; others less so. Kerry Alexander Murphy made some very bad choices, and bad choices have consequences. Blaming the police because an individual chose to break the law with tragic consequences is drawing a very long bow indeed.