Home detention for Stratford pair of cannabis growers

Two Stratford men found guilty of dealing cannabis have been sentenced to home detention.

Kyle John Emeny, 40, a Stratford contractor, and Aaron Mark Tobeck, 28, a mechanic, were yesterday sentenced in the New Plymouth District Court after admitting cultivating cannabis.

They were also found guilty at trial in October last year of possessing cannabis for supply.

Their former flatmate, Luke Smith, was jailed after admitting growing and dealing the crop, worth about $25,000.

Police found the Croydon Rd house they had lived in full of the harvested cannabis.

Judge Allan Roberts said in total there was 4616gm of cannabis head and 1620gm of leaf found. One bedroom was full of drying cannabis plants.

The two men denied the large harvested crop was theirs but admitted to a smaller amount - which was also of commercial quantities, the judge said.

The two contended the larger crop was solely co-offender Smith's responsibility.

But Judge Roberts said he believed the two "were up to their eyeballs" in the commercial operation with Smith.

Both men admitted personal use of the drug.

Those close to the men in what would have been a labour intensive operation, must have had alarm bells ringing, Judge Roberts said.

Those who wrote him letters criticising the jury's decision were ignorant of the law, the judge said.

Judge Roberts transposed a 21 month jail sentence to 8 months home detention coupled with 150 hours community work and ordered destruction of the cannabis. They are not to associate with Smith.

If the two breached they would be jailed, the judge warned.

Taranaki Daily News