A Toowoomba woman claimed she thought she was distilling alcohol, not drugs.
A Toowoomba woman claimed she thought she was distilling alcohol, not drugs.

Woman thought she was brewing alcohol, not drugs

A WOMAN who sensationally claimed she thought she was distilling alcohol, not pseudoephedrine, in her back shed has lost her appeal against her conviction.

Bernadette Tamara Sear was sentenced to 18 months' jail in October last year, for producing dangerous drugs at her Toowoomba property in 2016.

Sear made a passionate submission to the Queensland Court of Appeal in May, claiming her conviction should be overturned because there was not enough evidence against her.

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Police executed a search warrant at Sear's home, where she was living with three other people, on December 19, 2016.

In the back shed they found a keg with a flame burning, and a raft of utensils including a bucket, condenser and pH tester with Sear's fingerprint on it.

The Crown's case against Sear and her co-accused Andrew Victor Beveridge was that they were producing pseudoephedrine, which is used to manufacture methamphetamine.

Representing herself, Sear claimed she had merely picked up the bucket, pH tester and condenser because she thought it was for producing alcohol.

She argued it had been that left there by another occupant of the house and she had merely discovered it.

Three justices delivered their judgment on Friday, ruling that there was "ample evidence" that implicated Sear.

"Not only were the appellant's fingerprints on some of the equipment, which was in use when police arrived," Justice Walter Sofronoff said, "but the jury had the appellant's own evidence that she and Beveridge were operating the equipment."

The appeal was dismissed. - NewsRegional


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