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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Mary Miller's deadly home brew

Mary Miller

Nearly two years ago, Mary Miller from Lightning Ridge was accused of selling toxic homemade "rum" and "Tia Maria" to indigenous alcoholics in the remote community of Collarenebri, Western NSW, for up to $150 a crate.

NSW Deputy State Coroner Helen Barry has found that Sandra Boney 40, Norman Boney 46 and Roger Adams all died from drinking Ms Miller's moonshine which contained methanol - a deadly liquid which can be produced from poorly distilled spirits.

Three days after Sandra Boney's death on 6 February 2015, police went to Ms Miller's Pokataroo property and seized a home brew kit belonging to Ms Miller's partner Graham Stewart and boxes of homemade rum and Tia Maria.

In handing down her findings into the deaths on Tuesday, Ms Barry said that despite an official cause of "organising pneumonia" in each death, it was the moonshine or ethanol which killed all three.

Even after three deaths, Ms Miller reopened her illegal grog shop "the next day after they died, like it was nothing" the inquest heard.

Margaret Boney

The coroner found Ms Miller had manufactured and sold the homebrew to the Boneys' sister Margaret, and it was so strong, it could paralyse the drinker's arms.

Methanol is a colourless, inflammable liquid found in antifreeze, fuel for stove tops or paint solvents, and can cause blindness and death.

Yet Mary Miller has faced no charges and continues to operate her shop Collie Pickers.

Why?  Don't black lives matter?