Monday, December 3, 2012

Drawing a long bow

Rob Kidd from the Sunday Star-Times puts two and two together, and gets 22; check this out:

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.


Mark D said...

Surely if we just increased the benefit to a liveable standard then there would be no need for the poor drug dealers and manufacturers to resort to this to support themselves. So it's really all our fault. I look forward to the follow-up article.

Keeping Stock said...

Indeed Mark D; I look forward to some political party suggesting that the living wage be indexed to the median income for P-dealers.

Barney said...

So what this story is telling us is that Judges now have to consult a crystal ball to evaluate whether or not upholding the technical administration of the law might cause loss of life in the future? Even without a crystal ball, the implications of just how you'd know everything about every case that was called, and everything about each investigator and everything about each defendant would slow any justice system past the point of stall and into non-entity. I wonder if Rob Kidd thinks that if the deceased had instead died co-incidentally by being run over by a car, the judge would be at fault for not locking him up to save him from events no one could possibly know about.

krazykiwi said...

I was gobsmacked by this story when I read it yesterday. Rob Kidd and/or his [sub standard] sub-editor should be invited to try a different occupation. Perhaps they could set up in Waihi... there's a spare cave I'm told.