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For week ended December 19, 1999 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Kent Larsen

2 Accused of Giving Missionaries Marijuana Cookies Convicted
Melbourne Australia The Australian 18Dec99 D2

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA -- The bizarre case of two men accused of giving two LDS missionaries cookies laced with marijuana ended Friday with their convictions. Alexander McLean, 47, was sentenced to two months in jail while Douglas James Lynch, 40, was fined $450. McLean's sentence was suspended for 12 months, and he says that he will appeal.

Elders Tom Pettit and Andrew Housley told reporters Friday that they would be wary in the future of freshly baked treats because the cookies offered them by McLean and Lynch in May put them in the Hospital. The missionaries were offered and ate up to 12 cookies each, which McLean and Lynch each had no more than three.

Lynch and McLean told reporters after sentencing that they had nothing against the two missionaries, "If they knock on our door again they are quite welcome to come in, have a cup of coffee and a biscuit," McLean said.

During sentencing, Magistrate Margaret Harding said McLean and Lynch had broken the "particular trust" the public has a right to expect when visiting someone else's home. But the magistrate dismissed charges of recklessly causing injury, administering a substance likely to interfere with a bodily function and introducing a drug of dependence.

The Elders said they simply wanted to get on with their work, "We feel that this case is a reflection of the (drug) problem that is plaguing many nations at this time ... both in the mental and physical health of individuals," said their attorney, Mr. Housley. Elder Pettit added, "It's definitely taken us away from our normal duties, and from the purposes of being here in Australia. We're definitely looking forward to getting this behind us and getting back to our normal jobs."


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