Even Luke Schneider's lawyer admits he's no Walter White.
White, the high school chemistry teacher from hit television show Breaking Bad, went on to amass a multi-million dollar fortune cooking crystal meth of unmatched purity.
Schneider's fledgling operation was over before it truly began, as he didn't know how to make drugs but told police that if he could have, he would.
The crime scene in a shed in suburban Canberra, with its containers of Saxa Salt, Dominoes Pizza boxes and a Pyrex jug, looked more like a failed cooking class than a drug lab, according to the sentencing magistrate.
Schneider, 32, of Mawson pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to manufacture a controlled drug.
On Wednesday, he was sentenced to four months in prison, fully suspended, and placed on a 12-month good behaviour order. The maximum penalty for the charge is 10 years in prison.
Schneider was arrested when police raided his Mawson home in March and discovered a clandestine drug lab. A Hazmat unit and the AFP bomb squad were required and parts of the street were shut down.
He was eventually charged with the offence after a two and a half hour interview where he made a number of admissions to police.
Police found 500 grams of the drug Phenylalanine, a precursor drug to methamphetamine, in Schneider's shed.
In court, Schneider's lawyer, Jacob Robertson, said his client had been in serious financial difficulties and "down on his luck", which had led him to attempt to manufacture drugs.
"We're not dealing with a Walter White situation here," Mr Robertson said.
"He did not have knowledge to actually manufacture the methamphetamine."
He said Schneider had made "rudimentary" attempts at making the drug and that his set up had been unsophisticated.
Special Magistrate Margaret Hunter noted the shed "looked more like a failed attempt at a cooking class rather than a drug lab".
Schneider told police that if he could have manufactured the drugs, he would have, as he had been desperate to alleviate debts, court documents stated.
The court heard Schneider had worked in construction and that creditors that owed him money had disappeared and became bankrupt.
He told police he owed as much as $20,000 and started doing odd jobs for people to whom he owed money such as running deliveries to Sydney.
Schneider began telling these people that he could cook drugs as a form of "smoke and mirrors" to get them off his back.
Schneider said his only motivation had been to be able to provide for his wife and three young children.
"It wasn't just greed, it was need I suppose," Ms Hunter said.
However, prosecutor Patrick Dixon said the efforts Schneider made to cook the drugs had not been insignificant.
He pointed to beakers and other equipment found in the shed suggesting it showed planning had gone into the operation.
Ms Hunter pointed out the set up had been rather rudimentary and that she herself owned one of the visible objects, a Pyrex jug.
"I have salt at home too," Mr Dixon said, arguing the household items needed to be taken in context of the drug lab.
Mr Dixon said Schneider had been "trying to manufacture a drug that causes users and the general community very serious damage".
Ms Hunter agreed, labelling ice "the most significant and dangerous drug on the market".
"People become crazy with it.
"Fortunately, he was unable to make it, for everyone's sake.
"Because the consequences are dire if he does manufacture it and it ends up on the street."
She also pointed out that drug labs "blow up all the time" and by operating one in a suburban shed Schneider had put his family and neighbours at risk.
Ms Hunter said the 12-month good behaviour order would act as a "Sword of Damocles" hanging over Schneider, as if he breached it he might have to go to jail to serve his full sentence.