Broken strap leads to jail term

A broken backpack strap has landed a St Andrews man in jail for a year.

Peter Galvin Hanifin, 53, was sentenced yesterday in the Timaru District Court on charges of possession of cannabis for supply, possession of cannabis and possession of cannabis seeds.

Hanifin was riding his motorbike on State Highway 1 on March 26 when the strap on his backpack broke. A member of the public later picked up the bag which held 17 grams of cannabis and six small resealable plastic bags and cannabis seeds. Fingerprints on the bag were traced back to Hanifin.

On July 24 police searched Hanifin's address where they discovered two plastic bags contained 36g of cannabis head, $1500 cash and resealable plastic bags. Ten muffins which contained cannabis material were also found. Cannabis oil was also discovered.

Judge Joanna Maze said because of Hanifin's extensive cannabis offending he would not be eligible for home detention and sentenced him to 12 months imprisonment.

He had been convicted of cultivation of cannabis in 1980, possession of cannabis in 1982, possession of cannabis for supply in 1987, possession of cannabis in 1993, possession of cannabis for supply in 2000 and possession of cannabis and utensils in 2001 and 2008.

The Timaru Herald