Kitchen fire leads police to man's cannabis stash

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 12:00 11/04/2014

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Trying at home what he saw on television caused a Palmerston North man to set his kitchen on fire - which ultimately led police to his cannabis stash.

In the Palmerston North District Court yesterday, Wayne Norman Knox pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis, after police found the drugs at his Ruahine St property when he set the place on fire.

On March 31, he was at home with his flatmate when he decided to make some cannabis oil.

The 43-year-old put a concoction, which included cannabis, on his stove, turned the element on and went to the toilet.

While there, a flatmate walked into the kitchen to find it on fire.

Before emergency services turned up, Knox picked up a box containing about half a kilogram of cannabis and hid it in his car.

But police found the box of class C drugs when they arrived.

Knox told police he had been stressed, and had tried to make the cannabis oil after watching a TV show in which someone made it.

Representing himself in court, he said he had tried to address addiction issues in the past.

The fire had caused substantial damage to his kitchen, but he was not yet aware of how much it would cost. He did not know the cannabis oil process would result in the blaze, he said.

"I didn't wake up in the morning and say ‘I'm going to burn down the bloody house'."

Judge Gregory Ross said people making cannabis oil were usually looking for a stronger kick than they could get by smoking the drug.

He sentenced Knox to 60 hours' community work.

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- Manawatu Standard

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