Fall for grace following personal tragedies
HE FELL from being the young hero who tried to save the lives of two drowning friends into a drug-disgraced man, but Tweed Valley resident David James Grace has escaped a jail sentence for his role in growing cannabis at a Dunbible property.
Grace, 32, from Nunderinear Murwillumbah,pleaded guilty in Lismore Local Court to stealing electricity from Country Energy; and cultivating a prohibited drug - cannabis - at Dunbible on December 10,2008.
Magistrate Michael Dakinfined Grace $800 and ordered him to repay $2340 to Country Energy for the stolen electricity. He fined him $1000 with a two-year good behaviour bond on the drug offence.
Police raided the McConnellsRoad property last December and found 14 plants inside a shed along with special lights, irrigation tubing, hydroponic lamp shades, loose electrical wiring, and four large 25 Litre drums of hydroponic chemicals. An inspection found a major wire removed from an electricity metre box so the power being used was not measured.
Lawyer RussellBaxterfor Grace, said his client was a seasonal cane worker who had used cannabis for many years. There had been tragedy in his life when he unsuccessfully tried to save two people who were lost in flood waters.
Mr Baxter said that shortly after that incident Grace was walking across a paddock when a downed electricity line killed his mate, with Grace knocked off his feet.
Magistrate Dakinsaid he was satisfied it was a well organised criminal activity 'with a commercial flavour'.