Father-son drug duo lose appeal against sentencing
A FATHER and son caught growing more than $1 million worth of marijuana on a family property and in a national park west of Mackay will not have their sentences curtailed.
Howard Kerry Lindsay was sentenced in May to seven years in jail, with parole eligibility after two-and-a-half-years, while his son Anthony Howard Lindsay will be released on parole after serving nine months of a three-year jail term.
They argued in the Queensland Court of Appeal their sentences were too high despite a history of the same thing at Gympie.
Police found about 1500 marijuana seedlings at 10 crop sites at Mount Charlton, north of Finch Hatton, and financial analysts estimated $1.9 million in unexplained income.
Lindsay Snr, a serial drug producer, was on bail at the time for producing 13 marijuana crops on his property at Calen, north of Mackay, in 2009.
When he was caught in 2009, he was on parole for similar offending at Gympie and Tandur.
In 2002, Lindsay Snr planted crops on two properties, about 12,000 plants worth about $68,000 when discovered at seven weeks old.
Authorities estimated it could have been worth many millions of dollars had the crop grown to full maturity and then sold on the retail market.
Police found lots of earthmoving equipment, tractors and other vehicles on the property.
Justice Ann Lyons, in a judgment handed down on Tuesday, said the sentencing justice was aware he should not make a sentence "too crushing" on a man of 65 years who was a Vietnam veteran.
She said that, among various other sentencing principles, was why he reduced the jail sentence from 10 and a half years to seven years.
Justice Lyons said that sentence was not excessive "let alone manifestly so", noting it was impossible to ignore the "scale of the proposed production and the potential profits" and that Lindsay Snr was a repeat offender.
She said the justice also was cautious when sentencing Lindsay Jnr to ensure he was not tarred with his father's more broad criminal brush.
Stopping work to cope with his son's open skull surgeries for a brain tumour, which had an adverse impact on brain development, had meant there was a greater temptation to join his father's illegal enterprise, Justice Lyons said.
She said both sentences carefully took into account numerous difficult factors.