An Inverell man has been sentenced in court after a police tip-off lead to the discovery of a backyard cannabis plot and over 3700 grams of dried plant material.
Gilgai's Cyril Wayne Trevithick, 61, came before Inverell Local Court on Thursday pleading guilty to one charge of the cultivation of cannabis and one charge for possession.
Police statements tendered to court outlined officers had received a tip-off with information about cannabis cultivation in a backyard in the area.
The court was told when police looked over Trevithick's fence and saw a large number of plants growing, Trevithick initially asked police if they had a search warrant, but was quick to give them access to the yard anyway.
The court heard Trevithick told officers; "I grow 'em, I might only put them in for personal use but I might not grow any more for 10 years. I don't sell it".
Police found 10 mature plants that had been recently harvested, the court was told. Trevithick then led them to a shed where bunches were hanging from the ceiling.
A total of 3879.53 grams of dried and drying material was found, which is more than the indictable quantity but less than the commercial quantity.
Trevithick's solicitor, Mandy Mackenzie, said her client suffered from a "myriad" of health problems and was currently being assessed for lung cancer, of which the outcome was "fairly certain".
She said he used cannabis for his medical conditions and pain management on a day-to-day basis, but "doesn't want to buy it".
Ms Mackenzie submitted that he was "experimenting" with what he could and couldn't grow, saying that the large number of plants was to account for any deaths so he would still have access to treat his pain.
"Some die in the cold, and some don't take... so he's planted a bunch and they just grew," Ms Mackenzie explained.
It was noted that he was now ready to be assessed properly for legal cannabis consumption for his health.
Magistrate Holly Kemp warned that he "better not be sending that out into the community".
"That quantity is truly alarming," she said to him, adding "but I can only sentence you on the charges before me today".
"It would take a lifetime to consume that amount."
Trevithick was convicted of both charges and placed on a supervised community corrections order for 12 months, with a condition he focus on drug rehabilitation, and fined $1500. He was fined a further $1000 for the cultivation charge.
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