The West

File image. Picture: The West Australian/Dione Davidson

A woman on trial over a drug laboratory explosion where a young boy was injured had bought 41 packets of pseudoephedrine products in the 14 months before the explosion, a Perth court has been told.

Jessica Ellen Barlow went on trial in the District Court this morning defending allegations of manufacturing methylamphetamine and attempting to manufacture methylamphetamine linked to an explosion at her house in Bertram where a young boy was burnt.

The court was told there was an explosion in July last year at the Bertram property Ms Barlow rented as Mark Dennehy was attempting to make methylamphetamine. Ms Barlow was not at home at the time of the explosion.

Opening the State's case, the prosecutor said it would be alleged Ms Barlow was aware Mr Dennehy was using her house to make the drugs and that she had knowingly provided assistance.

He argued that Ms Barlow knew "full well" what Mr Dennehy was "up to", had bought items - such as drain cleaner - used to manufacture methylamphetamine and had given him access to her bank account.

He told the jury the method used by Mr Dennehy was "quite literally bucket science" and had involved products such as drain cleaner, fertiliser and paint thinner.

Pharmacy records revealed Ms Barlow had purchased 41 packets of pharmacy medication containing pseudoephedrine in the 14 months before the explosion.

In his opening address, defence lawyer Hylton Quail said Ms Barlow's defence was that she did not know Mr Dennehy was manufacturing or attempting to manufacture methylamphetamine and she did not do or buy anything to assist him.

The jury was told witnesses described seeing the roof of the Bertram house blown 1.5m to 2m in the air during the explosion on July 31 last year.

In a statement read to the jury, witness Kathryn Glass described seeing black smoke and flames and after going to the house - which was near her workplace - she saw a young boy emerge who was badly burnt.

She said the boy was "white burnt".

She said she later spoke to a man named Mark who had also emerged from the house, who told her that there had been a heater on and there was a leaking gas bottle in the room.

The prosecutor told the jury that police later searched the house and discovered items consistent with the manufacture of methylamphetamine as well as a glass jar with traces of methylamphetamine, which he argued showed there had been a successful manufacture of the drug before the day of the explosion.

He said police also found receipts in a garbage can including a purchase three days earlier for cold and flu tablets from a Rockingham pharmacy and a receipt from a convenience store.

He said police managed to get CCTV footage, which showed Ms Barlow at the pharmacy and of her with Mr Dennehy at a Supa IGA buying three tubs of caustic soda.

The jury was told Ms Barlow maintained to insurance investigators that a gas heater was at fault but the heater was later tested and no signs of a fault or leak were found.

The trial continues.

The West Australian

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