Marijuana plants spotted in yard
A man who was running a marijuana nursery in his back yard has been caught out, after someone from the school behind his house popped their head over the fence and saw dozens of cannabis plants.
Police raided the Palmerston North home of Dean Raymond Hindmarsh, 53, after being tipped off about suspicious behaviour.
They went to the back yard and found 45 cannabis plants, each averaging 20 centimetres in height.
When questioned by police after the November 19 raid, Hindmarsh said the plants were dropped at his house by a friend. He said he was raising them until they were taller, then the friend would pick them up and pay him for his services in marijuana.
In the Palmerston North District Court yesterday, Hindmarsh pleaded guilty to a charge of cultivating cannabis.
Defence lawyer Peter Coles said Hindmarsh's stash had been spotted after someone from a school backing onto his property looked over the fence.
The plants were in the open in the back yard, which showed Hindmarsh did not try especially hard to hide what he was doing, Mr Coles said.
He had been on a sickness benefit for some time, and had not been able to work since 2010. However, he was getting back to full fitness and keen to get into the workforce, Mr Coles said.
Judge Gregory Ross said Hindmarsh had been running a cannabis nursery, and had a "lengthy" criminal history relating to drugs.
However, he had not been convicted for five years.
If he offended on drug matters again, the consequences would be serious, Judge Ross said.
Hindmarsh was sentenced to 125 hours' community work.