Two ‘‘brothers in crime’’ grew their own weed at their Arrowtown home because their habit was costing them hundreds of dollars a week.
Grant Andrew Danielson, 47, earthworks company director, and Garrath Mark McArley, 45, glazier, were jointly charged with possessing cannabis for supply and cultivating cannabis after police searched their Manse Road home on August 11.
They found four mature plants in a cupboard, converted into a grow room, with a halogen heat lighting system, while another grow room in the garage, equipped with heat lamps, extractor fans and an air filter, had 15 plants.
The cops also found a plastic bag containing 1.25kg of cannabis head, a jar with another 15g of fresh buds, and two plastic buckets holding about 2kg of head.
Its market value was estimated at between $43,200 and $57,600.
The pair told police the weed was for their own use, with each smoking about 450g a year.
They didn’t sell the weed, but occasionally ‘‘looked after’’ friends.
At their sentencing in Queenstown’s court on Tuesday, police prosecutor Stewart Sluis said there was no evidence the pair sold the drug for profit, but equally there was ‘‘no evidence it wasn’t commercial’’.
Judge Chris Sygrove said cash, ‘‘baggies or tinnies’’ and other drug-dealing paraphernalia weren’t found, and cellphone data analysis revealed ‘‘nothing remarkable’’.
A pre-sentence report said Danielson and McArley decided to grow their own because they did 40 to 60 ‘‘spots’’ a night, and could burn through $450 in a weekend.
The men regarded them selves as brothers, Sygrove said.
‘‘Brothers in crime in this case.’’
In sentencing, he took into account their guilty pleas and offers to make $1500 donations to charity.
They must complete four months’ community detention and undergo 12 months’ intensive supervision.
Sygrove warned them if they appeared on drugs charges again, they would be ‘‘staring a jail term in the face’’.
History of violence
A Lake Hawea man with a history of violent attacks on his wife will spend a year behind bars for his latest offending.
At his sentencing on Tuesday, Doron Tulia Junior Pelesauma Seu-Leniu, 41, told Sygrove he was determined to overcome his addiction and anger issues and become a good example to the couple’s three young children.
His time in prison awaiting sentence had been the ‘‘most painful six months of my life’’, and the longest time he’d spent apart from the victim.
After receiving a sentence indication, Seu-Leniu admitted a charge of assault with intent to injure — a representative charge covering offences be tween January 1 and March 7 last year in Cardrona and Lake Hawea — and assault in a family relationship, on January 5 last year, in Lake Hawea.
He told the judge he was deeply remorseful, and never wanted to return to prison.
‘‘I know you’ve heard this a thousand times, your honour.
‘‘But I want to break this cycle — I don’t want to see my children in prison.’’
Sygrove said the defendant had a history of assaulting the victim, for which he had already served two prison sentences.
On January 1, 2020, he pushed the victim to the floor and kicked her in the head about eight times.
She begged him to stop, saying ‘‘you’re going to kill me’’.
On January 5 last year at their Lake Hawea home, he pushed her before pulling her hair and punching her arms.
She managed to leave the property and called the police.
Then, early in the morning of March 7 last year, he dragged her from their bedroom into the living room before punching her in the head several times as she lay in the foetal position.
Sygrove said the defendant had been drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis since he was 14.
After his release, Seu-Leniu is subject to conditions for six months requiring him to undergo intervention for his anger and addiction issues.
● Tony Paul Cleaver, 32, commercial diver, of Clifton, assault, September 2, Queenstown, emotional harm reparation $800, six months’ supervision.
● Ethan James Haigh, 27, carpenter, of Shotover Country, possessing cannabis, June 16, Queenstown, fined $250.