Drugs a 'pernicious evil' - Judge Ingram
Drug offending is "a pernicious evil in our society", a Tauranga District Court judge said today when sentencing a 43-year-old Paeroa mother to a year behind bars on several cannabis related charges. [My thanks to the ODT for reporting this heinous act of incarceration, at our expense, and to achieve nothing. One one hand it is trotting out the same ol mass-mediated rhetoric but on the other it damns the policy - 12 months for the logical equivalent of selling homebrew to willing buyers. /Blair]
Emma Esma Sadlier admitted cultivating cannabis to dry, package and sell as "tinnies" to supplement her benefit.
Defence lawyer Peter Attwood told Judge Thomas Ingram she knew it was wrong but had no idea jail would be the outcome.
"Anyone who believes that is living in a dream world," the judge replied.
"If you did not know people who deal in drugs go to prison then I am sorry. This is pretty serious offending."
Sadlier was facing the court for possessing cannabis for supply, selling and cultivating it, plus possession of cannabis plant and oil and a pipe for smoking it.
"My view is that it is simply inappropriate for people who deal in drugs to be sentenced to detention at home," said Judge Ingram when he imposed a total of 12 months' imprisonment.
Crown prosecutor Hayley Booth said the defendant had a history of cannabis offending.
From late February to late March, Sadlier watered, tendered and supplied nutrients to three cannabis plants she grew in buckets behind her Paeroa home.
Over the same period she prepared harvested dry plant, wrapped it in tinfoil and sold it to numerous customers for $20 a tinnie.
When police searched her house on March 27 they found in the kitchen four tinnies ready for sale, a blister pack of cannabis oil, about 2 grams of plant loose on the bench alongside the oven element which was heating "spotting" knives, and a metal cannabis pipe.
Mr Attwood said there was no gang involvement - Sadlier had "done it all herself" for monetary gain and for her own use.
"It has been a watershed because it has jolted her into getting a job," he said.
That was why she would have liked to serve her sentence on home detention.
A Tauranga woman who grew eight plants was given 200 hours community service.
Lauren Bunyan, a single mother of four children, was convicted of cultivating cannabis.
She said the 2.21kg found by police growing under lights upstairs in her house was for her personal use.
"I have real doubts that you are able to use that amount of cannabis," said Judge Ingram.
However, there was no evidence pointing to a commercial operation.
"If you offend like this again, children or no children, you will go to prison," he warned her.
Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›