Pubdate: Tue, 30 Oct 2007
Source: Timaru Herald (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2007 Timaru Herald
Author: Rob Kerr, The Timaru Herald
Bookmark: (Drug Raids)


The police drugs raid on a Waimate house last week was over the top,
the man at the centre of the search said yesterday.

Ken Burton and his wife were watching Coronation Street when armed
offenders and other police arrived with a search warrant, believing
the house was being used to make P.

He said the number of officers, the use of a decontamination unit, and
his forceful arrest were not warranted.

His wife and children had to strip and also go through the
decontamination unit.

"What kind of treatment is it to strip children naked and put them
through cold showers?"

Seeing armed offenders with firearms was also harrowing for his

"For using P you'd expect a run-of-the-mill search. The last thing any
child should see is their dad with a machine gun at his head."

Burton acknowledged he had used P but had not manufactured it, and he
said the police believed he hadn't made the drug and had now allowed
he and his wife back into the house.

However, the couple, who have been charged with possession of a P
pipe, have had no contact with their children since the raid.

He said that despite the absence of laboratory equipment, the police
clandestine laboratory crew had inspected the property.

Possessions seized included a motorbike, $8000 cash, a trailer and a
friend's truck and trailer unit.

Burton said the cash came from the sale of a motorcycle which the new
owner could verify. Holding the cash was to fund relocation when the
family's tenancy ended next month.

"We can't stay in the community because of the public

He believed that being a beneficiary who went out late at night pig
hunting may have fuelled suspicions. He said there had been disputes
about his pig dogs which had harmed relationships with some people.

While physically fit enough to work, his mental condition of social
phobia, anxiety and depression made it hard for him to work for other

Burton admitted smoking P two weeks ago in Christchurch, but said he
had never smoked it in his home.

The police found a solvent tin (solvents can be used in drug
manufacture) which he said held waste oil and diesel.

He made no secret of previous convictions with one of the more serious
being growing 40 cannabis plants five years ago.

"That's why I am worried I could be going to jail."

Burton said that regardless of his faults his children were cared for
and had a good family life. He did the best he could by them and he
was prepared to quit drugs and accept testing.

"I think the children are more important than the odd puff of

Timaru detective Dylan Murray would not comment about the scale of the
police response to discovering a P pipe because the matter was yet to
come before the court. He said further charges may still follow.
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