Man jailed after rifle and cannabis found

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 05/12/2012

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A Patea man was found with a cupboard full of cannabis and a .22 rifle tucked alongside it, the High Court in New Plymouth heard.

For Steven Mark Coe, 48, it was the second time he had been prosecuted for possessing cannabis for supply and illegally having a firearm when he did not have a licence.

In his cupboard and elsewhere in the house police found seven plastic bags stuffed full of cannabis.

When put on the scales the cannabis weighed in at 1295 grams and was conservatively valued at $7500.

At an earlier appearance in the District Court, Judge Allan Roberts declined to deal with Coe, transferring him to the High Court for sentencing.

Coe's lawyer, Rajan Rai, said Coe did not have the cannabis to sell but as a lifestyle choice, and would sometimes swap it for food.

Coe now realised he had to change his ways, Mr Rai said.

The rifle was not his but had been left at his house a few weeks earlier by a friend, Mr Rai said.

Justice Timothy Brewer said Coe's pre-sentence report revealed an extensive criminal history including drug offences and an entrenched pattern of cannabis use.

Although the amount of cannabis was hefty, there was no evidence of a commercial enterprise or that he was selling it for profit.

Justice Brewer sentenced Coe to 25 months' jail. That came after giving him a 25 per cent discount for his guilty pleas and an uplift because of his previous criminal history.

An order was issued for the destruction of the drugs, firearm and ammunition.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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