Police stand guard outside a Station Road home to wait for the Illicit Laboratory Investigation Team from Brisbane to clean up a methamphetamine drug lab discovered on Saturday.
Police stand guard outside a Station Road home to wait for the Illicit Laboratory Investigation Team from Brisbane to clean up a methamphetamine drug lab discovered on Saturday. Craig Warhurst

Toddler leads police to drug lab

ANOTHER illicit drug lab was discovered on the weekend after a crying infant led police to a room which contained chemicals, glassware and equipment used for manufacturing methamphetamines, or the drug commonly known as “speed”.

Dean Anthony Lovett, 41, was arrested at his Station Road home on Saturday morning for a separate drug matter when officers became concerned about the wellbeing of a toddler who appeared at the back door and started crying as Lovett was led away.

Officers put Lovett in the police car and returned to where the toddler was crying. They said they called out a number of times but got no answer, so when the infant ran up the hall and disappeared into a bedroom they followed.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable said when officers walked up the back steps they were overwhelmed by a pungent smell. She said they looked in the bedroom into which the child had disappeared and found the baby with its mother.

Next to her on a chest of drawers was .7 grams of a clear liquid substance (later identified as methamphetamines) in a plastic bag and utensils used to take the drug.

The woman was arrested and officers searched the rest of the house, noticing that the pungent smell got stronger in the lounge room. There they found a metal box with two backpacks containing enough illegal equipment for two clandestine drug laboratories.

Lovett was remanded in custody until yesterday when he appeared in the Gympie Magistrates Court dock to make an application for bail.

His lawyer Lesley Swift was unable to represent him because she was sick, however, Lovett wanted to press on and “get home” and see his kids.

He was advised to get legal advice before representing himself because he had allegedly committed the offence while on a suspended sentence for convictions of drug offences.

Prosecution also strongly opposed the application based on the fact that police believed he would commit other offences and endanger the safety of the public. The matter was originally adjourned for a week for Lovett to get legal representation but this provoked him to plead guilty there and then.

“Sentence me now so I can just do the time. I don’t want to sit in the cells for a week,” he said.

“I’ll represent myself and plead guilty now to whatever you have got so I can at least go home or go to jail,” Lovett said.

Gympie Magistrate Maxine Baldwin said she would bring the matter on this morning so Lovett could get his matter dealt with.

This was the third drug lab Gympie Police have uncovered this year. One was discovered at a Bells Bridge property in February and a second substantially-sized drug lab was discovered in a shed on McIntosh Road, Jones Hill, on Sunday, May 23.

Police said they were still looking for the offender and asked for anyone with information to contact the Gympie station on 5480 1111 or anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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