Police discover “ecstasy lab” in garage after arresting Calderdale man for flashing passengers on train and bus

Robert Smith has been jailed for 32 months
Robert Smith has been jailed for 32 months

A 35-year-old man from Calderdale has been jailed for allowing drug dealers to set up a sophisticated ecstasy “laboratory” in the garage of his home.

Robert Smith was initially arrested by police and detained in a psychiatric unit after he committed a series of indecent exposure offences in front of women passengers on a bus and a train, but when officers later visited his home in Back Lane, Ripponden, they discovered what was described as “a chemical laboratory” in the adjoining garage.

Prosecutor Clare Walsh told Bradford Crown Court that counter terrorism officers were involved because it was not known at first what the laboratory was used for, but after an emergency interview with Smith it became clear that it was an MDMA lab.

She said the laboratory contained “a large range of hazardous substances” as well as flasks and other equipment and during the search in February officers also recovered various amounts of drugs and cutting agents.

The court heard that more than £1000 worth of ecstasy was found along with other drugs such as cannabis, ketamine and GHB.

Smith had been jailed for four years at Croydon Crown Court in 2014 for his involvement in importing liquid cocaine in wine bottles and the court heard today that his loss of the cocaine had led to a drugs debt.

His lawyer Richard Reed said Smith had had his keys taken from him and other men had been visiting the premises twice a week.

“He was told his notional drugs debt was going to be reduced,” said Mr Reed.

“He bitterly regrets finding himself before the courts again for drugs related offending.”

The court heard that Smith suffered from psychiatric conditions which resulted in his sexual offending.

Smith pleaded guilty to being concerned in the production of ecstasy and charges of indecent exposure and outraging public decency in relation to the incidents on the bus and train.

The Recorder of Bradford Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC jailed him for 32 months for the drugs offence with concurrent six month prison sentences for the sexual matters.

Smith will now have to register as a sex offender with the police for the next 10 years and be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for the same period.

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