Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Drugs Factory's Deadly Chemicals; Police Suspected a Terrorist Bomb Plot

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Drugs Factory's Deadly Chemicals; Police Suspected a Terrorist Bomb Plot

Article excerpt

Byline: By GARRY WILLEY and ROB PATTINSON

POLICE fearing they were on the trail of a bomber stumbled across Tyneside's first ever crystal meth factory.

Police raided a smart riverside flat at Dolphin Quay, North Shields, after a report that tenant Stuart Gyger was buying terrorist-style chemicals.

They suspected they may have uncovered a bomb plot.

But instead Gyger had turned the kitchen of the ground floor property into a lab to make deadly crystal meth - a deeply addictive designer drug never previously found in the North East.

The 36-year-old had surfed the web for step-by-step instructions to make the drug, so dangerous it has been upgraded from class B to class A.

He had already carried out one experiment using the volatile range of chemicals and equipment he had ordered online.

And when he was quizzed, he confessed he had planned to make then sell DIY crystal meth kits to pay off his debts.

Gyger - then jobless and with no previous drug convictions - described it as a "crackpot scheme" but he was jailed for four years after admitting producing methylamphetamine, which is either swallowed, smoked or injected by addicts.

Jailing him for four years, Judge Esmond Faulks told Gyger: "This is clearly an extremely nasty drug. There is a need for a deterrent sentence to send out a message to others who might be tempted like you to produce this dangerous drug."

He added: "It is hazardous in manufacture owing to the flammable and explosive nature of its constituents. It can also produce noxious gas."

Gyger had enough chemicals - themselves so toxic they could kill - to make up to 1.5kg of crystal meth, worth in excess of pounds 50,000.

He had also made moves to find a huge extra amount of one of the chemicals from China. John Elvidge, defending, said: "Gyger had no idea of the seriousness of the scheme he had launched. He is truly sorry for what he has done.

"This harebrained scheme may cost him dearly but it was born of ignorance rather than an appreciation of the seriousness of what he was up to."

Police staged their raid on February 28 last year armed with a search warrant.

The officer in charge of the investigation, Det Cons Chris Forster, told the court it was the first time crystal meth had come to their attention. …

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