Dad exposed kids to amphetamine
DANGEROUS chemicals were found next to a teddy bear and within easy reach of infant children when police caught a man about to start an amphetamine cook.
A father of five is the first person in Australia jailed for exposing his children to "toxic and carcinogenic chemicals" under legislation enacted in 2005.
Justice Martin Daubney told Brisbane Supreme Court all five children, aged 2-8, had traces of methyl amphetamine in their hair.
He said the effect of those chemicals might not be immediately apparent and may affect them later in life.
Justice Daubney said police found chemicals, piping and other drug manufacturing equipment in many rooms around the house, all within reach of the children.
He said there was a "strong chemical odour" when police searched the Loganlea home on April 16, 2010.
Justice Daubney said all police officers had to leave the house to get fresh air at some time during the search and they all suffered skin and eye irritations.
"A number of toxic gases are formed as by-products during the production of methylamphetamines," he said.
"Hydrogen iodine is an acidic gas that if breathed in can cause severe lung damage.
"Phosphene gas is also formed and extremely dangerous.
"The dangers ... are such that any child who has resided in such an environment, even for a short period of time, would have been exposed to a real danger of both serious and physical harm.
"Potassium hydroxide solution was located next to a child's teddy bear and hydrochloric acid was on a low-level shelf in the kitchen cupboard.
"Both of these materials are extremely corrosive and poisonous and could cause significant skin and eye damage from contact."
The 32-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his children, told police he had planned to complete the cook once the children went to school.
The man grew up in Logan and Toowoomba.
He met the mother of his five children while living in Toowoomba and working at a meatworks at Oakey.
They lived in Gladstone where he worked as a welder for more than three years until the financial stress of losing his job took him back to Logan.
The man was jailed for two years, to be released on parole after he has served eight months.