Man jailed for drug crop

THE strength of the marijuana grown by Wayne John Maslin was a factor in his sentencing in the Lismore District Court on Friday.

Maslin, 49, was found guilty in June of cultivating cannabis and supplying a large quantity of the drug, and was appearing for sentence before Judge James Black.

While Maslin’s Loadstone plantation was ‘on a pretty large scale’, the enterprise had been ‘fairly amateurish’ and the quality of the plants was relevant in assessing the criminality of the undertaking, Judge Black said.

Maslin’s home was raided in 2005. Police found 14 kilograms of cannabis in sacks around the house and 1401 plants growing on the property.

His lawyer, Peter O’Connor, told the court his client had suffered an extreme personal tragedy, which had left him with post-traumatic stress disorder and tipped him into marijuana addiction.

He said the poor quality of the cannabis was significant, because it showed Maslin did not set out to establish a drug enterprise with a view to making a lot of money.

Judge Black agreed, saying the plantation had been ‘fairly rough and lacking in professionalism’.

He noted the distress Maslin had suffered over his ‘significant personal tragedies’ and his ‘very good prospects of rehabilitation’.

However, ‘you can’t go growing this quantity of cannabis in NSW, nor keep 14kgs on your property,’ Judge Black said.

Maslin received five years’ jail on the growing charge, and four on the supply, the terms to be concurrent. He will be eligible for parole after two-and-a-half years.

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