Hugh James Robinson guilty of drugs charges
A juror was sobbing as a Christchurch man was found guilty of drug and firearms charges.
A Christchurch District Court jury found Hugh James Robinson, 61, guilty of possession and conspiring to deal in party pills worth $240,000 on the street.
The clean sweep of verdicts came two hours and 30 minutes after the judge finished summing up the 12-day trial.
Judge Alistair Garland told the jury they had "obviously applied themselves diligently" in considering the allegations.
"I know it is very difficult, stressful, and can be a very unpleasant duty," said the judge, as one juror continued to sob and was given tissues by a Corrections officer.
Judge Garland asked Crown prosecutor Deidre Orchard for Robinson's criminal history, then told the jury he had been convicted in 1992 for cultivating cannabis and importing LSD and imprisoned for seven years and six months.
That was apart from a conviction for possession of BZP – party pills which were declared illegal in 2008 – which the jury heard about during the trial.
Robinson denied conspiring to sell the class C drugs, possession of them at his house, business premises, storage unit, and car, and possession of a sawn-off shotgun and ammunition at a storage unit in Russley Rd.
He said his son, Jamie Daniel Robinson, 29, was responsible for the drugs. Jamie Robinson has served a jail term for his drug offending.
Hugh Robinson said he originally thought the pills were left-over from when his company, High Performance Health, stopped producing them.
He gave evidence explaining a series of cash transactions into his bank accounts as being related to synthetic cannabis sales at a time when it was still legal, and from sales of assets and artworks – including works by Picasso and Salvador Dali – which his wife, Svetlana Robinson, brought back from Russia.
The jury rejected all the explanations.
Judge Garland remanded Robinson in custody for sentencing on November 16.