Drug dealer sentenced

20:23, Jan 21 2014

A New Plymouth tinny house operator has been sentenced to eight months home detention.

Tohu Meretatana Skinner, a 51-year-old beneficiary who has the care of two children pleaded guilty in the New Plymouth District Court at an earlier appearance to possessing cannabis for supply after 171gm of cannabis including 33 tinnies - cannabis wrapped in tinfoil -  was found at her home.

During sentencing yesterday defence lawyer Kylie Pascoe said Skinner, assessed as having a harmful pattern of drug use and a serious drug problem, was now drug free and motivated to change.

She asked that her client, who had significant family support, was given an electronically monitored sentence after being given credit for remorse.

Judge Allan Roberts said the cannabis was found at Skinner's home on 19 September after information was received by police.

Police located 171 grams and a tick book with the names of people and payments made or owed.


Precut rectangles of tinfoil were also found.

Skinner took the blame saying it was for her personal use.

The judge said Skinner's views were askew of the law, believing that God made the cannabis seeds for women to use.

It was clear Skinner was running a tinny house, the judge said.

Police were concerned the illegal behaviour was ongoing.

Home detention required abstinence, the judge told Skinner, and if she breached she would be jailed.

"You will get one shot at this and one shot only," he said.

Skinner was also ordered to attend drug and alcohol treatment and carry out 100 hours community work.

Taranaki Daily News