In a scene straight out of Breaking Bad, a cack-handed crystal meth cook has been busted trying to produce the drug in his kitchen in Wakefield.
Police were alerted to Lee Clark’s address in West Yorkshire when he nearly blacked out from the fumes and huge clouds of white smoke were seen billowing from his flat’s windows in a scene straight out of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman’s season one antics.
Clark was jailed for 18 months at Leeds Crown Court after pleading guilty to attempting to produce a Class A drug.
The court heard that 42-year-old Clark’s flat was filled with items often used for the “Shake and bake” or “One pot” method of producing crystal meth – including sulphuric acid, batteries, bottles, drain cleaner, tablets, face masks and rubber gloves.
When police officers searched the rest of his flat, they also found bags of amphetamines worth £7,600. Clark also pleaded guilty to possessing a Class B drug with intent to supply.
Prosecutor Mehran Nassiri said: “One of the men had claimed that they had been trying to make ‘Bubble Hash’ – but it was clear that attempts were being made to produce methamphetamine.
“Had Clark been successful, he would have produced five grams. Clearly he wasn’t, and it seems that everything went wrong.”
A recent Home Office survey suggested that the success of Breaking Bad has made crystal meth more fashionable in Britain, as usage of the drug has been on the rise. There were 25,000 estimated users in 2015, compared to 17,000 in 2014. So Clark’s bust could be the tip of the iceberg of Walter Smith wannabes starting up over here.
Loaded suggests you grab yourself a copy of the Breaking Bad box-set instead and leave the science to the scriptwriters. Crystal meth isn’t great for your complexion, after all.
Loaded reporter Robert McCallum has written for many leading culture magazines and websites about music, sport, science, politics, fashion and arts. Follow Robert at @therobmccallum