A STOKERS Siding pensioner had $25,000 worth of cannabis growing on his property for his own personal use.
Darryl Anthony Findlay pleaded guilty in Murwillumbah Local Court yesterday to cultivating prohibited plants.
According to police documents tendered to the court, Findlay had perfected a 10-week cycle of cannabis production in the back shed of his Adcocks Road property.
Magistrate Nick Reimer said it sounded like “quite a sophisticated operation” by the description in the police documents.
He put Findlay on a three-year good-behaviour bond and ordered him to pay $73 in court costs.
Police swooped on the 65-year-old aged pensioner's property at 7.10am on January 9.
Armed with a search warrant, detectives and officers from the Tweed Byron Target Action Group approached the house and found Findlay inside with his wife.
The pensioner was co-operative and took them to his back shed where police saw two rooms purpose-built for cannabis production.
Inside there were growing lamps, timers, fans and other items used in a hydroponic set-up.
In the first room three “extremely healthy” mature cannabis plants standing more than one metre high were in full bud.
The adjoining room housed another two healthy plants that were also in full bud.
Outside the shed, police found fertilisers, irrigation pipes and growing mediums.
Four cloned cannabis seedlings were found in the house, which Findlay said were growing to replace the full-grown plants at harvest time.
Findlay said it took four to eight weeks to reach maturity after planting.
He admitted ownership of all the plants, but said they were only for personal use, as he and his family were heavy users.
The set-up had been destroyed and the court heard Findlay had stopped smoking the drug.
• In an unrelated matter, a 37-year-old was fined $573 for possessing a bag of marijuana in Murwil- lumbah.
According to police facts tendered to the court, a member of the public complained about Jason Troy Higgins' behaviour at 11.50am on January 2.
Police found him walking from Tumbulgum Road onto Wharf Street in Murwillumbah.
They searched him and found a shopping bag containing about eight grams of cannabis leaf.
Magistrate Nick Reimer said Higgins had managed to find money to buy cannabis despite being on the dole. “Now you can spend your money paying the fines off, instead of drugs,” Mr Reimer said.