Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ex cop claims 'sold drugs to impress woman'

A FORMER Victorian detective has told a Darwin court he sold almost 2000 pseudoephedrine tablets to a "speed cook" to impress a woman. 

Clifton Robert Lockwood, 47, who was acquitted of murdering a Melbourne gangland criminal 20 years ago, pleaded guilty in the Darwin Magistrates Court today to possessing a precursor to a dangerous drug and supplying a precursor to a dangerous drug.

Magistrate Sue Oliver sentenced Lockwood to 15 months' jail with a non-parole period of eight months, adding that she did not accept that the transaction was an "unsophisticated operation" which arose out of Lockwood's desire to impress a woman.

She said it was "very much a venture of a commercial nature".

"Your participation was not minimal, it was central to the process," Ms Oliver said.

Prosecutor Steve Ledek said Lockwood, through a third party, arranged to supply tablets containing pseudoephedrine to an amphetamines manufacturer by the name of "Andy" in exchange for $5000 and one gram of pure amphetamine per 1000 tablets.

When Lockwood delivered 1856 tablets to the Sky City Casino in Darwin in December last year, he was unaware that "Andy" was an undercover police officer.

Mr Ledek said the tablets that Lockwood obtained were not commercially available in Australia or the US and suggested that they had been manufactured in Indonesia.

He said the tablets contained enough pseudoephedrine to produce more than 200 grams of speed with a street value of between $20,000 and $50,000.

Mr Ledek said the fact that Lockwood contacted "Andy" again after the first exchange and said he could supply more tablets showed Lockwood was willing to engage in criminal activity in the future.

Chrissy McConnel, who is the third lawyer to represent Lockwood, told the court the deal was a "one-off" and said the second meeting was nothing more than a case of "bravado".

The court heard Lockwood made full admissions to the police in regards to his own offending but was very vague about how he obtained the tablets.

Ms Oliver said the source was not an Australian truck driver as had been suggested by Lockwood.

Lockwood had spent a great deal of time in East Timor, Bali and the Northern Territory as a business owner, locksmith and taxi driver since leaving the Victorian police force in 1994.

At the time of the offence Lockwood was unemployed and lived in an apartment at Mantra on the Darwin Esplanade.

The court heard Lockwood had no prior criminal history, but was one of two police officers charged in relation to the shooting death of Melbourne crime figure Gary Abdallah in 1989.

Lockwood and his partner, Dermot Avon, were charged with murder and acquitted five years later.

Prosecutors at the time alleged Lockwood shot Mr Abdallah seven times when he produced an imitation .357 Magnum pistol at his flat in North Carlton.

Police had gone to the address to question Mr Abdallah about what he knew of the 1988 Walsh Street police shootings.

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