Cannabis plants blooming in garden

IT WAS not a smart move whenKyogle man David Fraser told a police officer to go ‘knock on the door’of his home when his ill girlfriend failed to appear in the Kyogle Local Court.

When Senior Constable Rodney Starr took his ‘helpful’ advice and walked up the garden path to the house, he could not fail to notice the garden beds were not just blooming with pretty poppies, but also held hundreds of small cannabis plants.

Fraser, 47, of Colin Street, was jailed for at least 15 months yesterday after pleading guilty in the Lismore District Court to cultivating a prohibited plant (commercial quantity) – 366 cannabis plants – at his home on September 17 last year.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of 1kg of cannabis leaf found in plastic bags inside the house.

When Snr Const Starr woke the sleeping girlfriend to confirm she was too ill to attend at court, he also organised a search warrant for the house. Police later pulled out 366 plants, including five growing in pots.

Plastic bags inside the house held cannabis leaf, including one that was found beneath the kitchen sink and others in a bedroom.

Judge James Black enquired of the Crown prosecutor if the plants had been concealed in any way, which they weren’t, or whether there was a fence, which there was.

However, the Crown stated anyone could have easily looked over the fence and seen the prohibited plants.

Defence lawyer Vince Boss said there were ‘special circumstances’ in the matter, with a medical report showing his client had cognitive issues that must be considered, and he was weak in his capacity to reason.

“Knowing the visibility of the plants he did not try to stop the police officer, or say that he would run up and get his girlfriend, knowing full well anyone would see the cannabis growing,” Mr Boss said.

Judge Black convicted Fraser of both matters, jailing him for two years and three months setting a non-parole period of 15 months dating from his arrest last September.

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