Two airmen accused of snorting oxyodone actually consumed pre-workout powder, their lawyers say.
An air force corporal, 28, and leading aircraftsman, 26, whose names are suppressed, are facing a court martial at Ōhakea air base on charges of supplying and consuming class B drugs.
The corporal faces two charges of consuming oxycodone and three charges of supplying the class B drug to other air force personnel at his Feilding flat between November 1, 2017, and January 31, 2018.
The leading aircraftsman faces charges of supplying and consuming MDMA, and consuming oxycodone with the corporal at the Feilding flat.
Witness Joshua McEnroe-Sparkes, 22, on Wednesday confirmed that the pair had snorted a white powder at the house with former Leading Aircrafstman Tom Lowther who, after a court martial on Monday, was dismissed from service and sentenced to 85 days in military prison for drug use and offering to supply.
However, neither court witnesses Lowther or McEnroe-Sparkes, a former leading aircraftman, were 100 per cent sure what the powder was.
McEnroe-Sparkes agreed with defence lawyer Esme Killeen, representing the leading aircraftsman, that the culture of their friend group was to banter and play pranks on each other.
“You wouldn’t have been surprised if it had been a line of flour, or maybe even pre-workout because there was a culture of using that in a way that wasn’t intended,” Killeen said.
The court heard McEnroe-Sparkes and his friends would snort pre-workout powder before a night on the town for energy.
Military prosecutor Colonel Craig Ruane referenced an interview McEnroe-Sparkes had with military police in September 2018, where he said the corporal and leading aircraftsman snorted oxycodone at the house at least once.
But when questioned on Wednesday McEnroe-Sparkes said he couldn’t recall the details and suggested he could have said anything to get out of the interview
“Are you seriously telling this court that you would lie about one of your comrades to get out of the interview,” Ruane said.
Ruane asked Lowther to recall the allege drug use at the Feilding home, using a statement he had give military police on 14 September, 2018.
But rather than refreshing his memory, Lowther become confused, telling Ruane he was unable to discern if he was remembering the day or if his memory had been contaminated by the statement he’d been given to refresh his thoughts.
The corporal’s lawyer, Paul Murray, argued the powder could have been any number of substances when examining McEnroe-Sparkes.
“We’re really relying on your binge-drinking memory,” Murray said
“[At the Feilding flat you’d] drunk a whole bottle of wine, you were highly intoxicated, you didn’t know what oxycodone was, you saw a while pill, you thought it looked like Panadol, it could have been Panadol, you snorted it.”
McEnroe-Sparkes agreed this could have happened.
The court martial continues.