First charge for synthetic dope

16:00, Jan 08 2014

An Inglewood teenager has the dubious honour of being the first in Taranaki to be prosecuted for possessing artificial cannabis.

Beneficiary Shae William Bunn-Greenbank, now 18, admitted the charge brought under the fledgling Psychoactive Substances Act in that he had the artificial dope on him when aged 17.

It is now illegal to possess the synthetic product under the age of 18.

In the New Plymouth District Court yesterday, Community Magistrate Robyn Paterson convicted Bunn-Greenbank, fining him $250 plus court costs of $130.

The teenager ran away from police about 11.20am on December 18 after a member of the public reported people smoking in New Plymouth's Downtown car park.

When police caught up with him, he was holding a bag containing six grams of what police described as psychoactive substances. He told police he had just purchased the product for $50.

Bunn-Greenbank also admitted four other charges: Stealing $5 worth of sweets from Pak 'n Save on December 31, disorderly behaviour on December 16 when he and a 16-year-old mate bombarded Inglewood houses in the middle of the night with stolen fruit, and breaching community work.

Bunn-Greenbank was sentenced to 40 hours community work. He would be heading for jail if he continued to offend, the magistrate said.

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Taranaki Daily News