Lawyer caught with meth pipe at Auckland court says it wasn't his

A meth pipe.
A meth pipe. Photo credit: Getty

An Auckland lawyer was allegedly caught trying to enter the Manukau District Court with drug paraphernalia in his pocket, but he denies it was his.

In a statement to Newshub, Inspector Alison Brand said a 53-year-old man was found with a glass pipe, two lighters and an empty small clear bag when he went through security screening on August 29.

"The man denied they were his or any knowledge of how they got into his jacket pocket," Brand said.

The Ministry of Justice also confirmed the incident in a statement to Newshub, saying the man was detained by court security.

According to the ministry, the man did not have the opportunity to enter the courthouse and the matter was referred to the police.

"The ministry has also reminded the Law Society that lawyers are not exempt from screening in courthouses," said acting general manager of health, safety and security Jonathan Howe.

"We take our obligations towards the health, safety and security of all court users seriously." 

The unnamed lawyer told Stuff it's possible the items were planted.

He said that earlier in the day, he'd been at the Auckland District Court. While sitting in the public area, he'd left his jacket on a seat behind him while checking emails.

"That's the only place I could possibly think when the jacket was away from me," he told Stuff.

Brand said the items were confiscated and the man was given a verbal warning.

"There is no further action from police."