No bidders for dealers' seized home
No bids have been made at an auction on a Picton property seized from a convicted drug dealer.
The former owner of the house, Gary Tittleton, 67, was one of 14 people who turned up for the auction, held at Bayleys Blenheim at noon today.
Tittleton was ordered to forfeit 50 per cent of the value of his home after he was convicted in 2009 for cultivating cannabis and possession of cannabis for supply.
The room was silent when auctioneer and Bayleys Blenheim director Glenn Dick called for a starting bid.
He started the bidding at $150,000, before upping it to $200,000. No bids were made.
The Wellington St property has a land value of $116,000 and an improvement value of $139,000, with a capital value of $255,000. A reserve price had been set but was not revealed.
Dick set the property aside after the audience failed to bid.
''The auction is concluded,'' he said. ''Thank you all for coming along and watching this event.''
Receiving no bids at an auction happened regularly, he said. He would seek instruction from lawyers acting for the crown on the next step.
Tittleton said he was not surprised that no one bid as the property had only been on the market for three weeks. He was ''well over'' the idea of losing his home and just came along to see if it would sell, he said.
A couple at the auction said they were interested in the property, but wanted to see if someone else bid first.
Tittleton, who has remained in the house since his conviction, would be moving into a rental home in Picton on July 1.
Police found 1.64 kilograms of dried cannabis head and eight cannabis plants during a raid on his home in 2009. Cultivation and harvesting equipment was also found under his house.
The estimated street value of the cannabis was between $32,000 and $41,000.
In 2011, Tittleton was sentenced to forfeit 50 per cent of the value of his home, in the first time the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 had been used to seize a house in Marlborough.
The property was valued at $377,000 in January 2010. Two years later, it decreased to $332,000.
Tittleton, who owned the house outright and has lived there for 17 years, lost a High Court appeal in 2012 against the sentence.
The Marlborough Express