A 62-year-old man who was found with 5.14 kilograms of cannabis at his property – 20 times the trafficable quantity – said he grew the plant for personal use.
Police executed a search warrant on Henry Gosling’s property on October 24, 2016. In his shed, police found numerous pots used to cultivate cannabis while more of the plant was seen drying on newspaper.
The total amount of cannabis found in Gosling’s shed was 4149 grams.
Police then moved their search into Gosling’s house where 935 grams of cannabis was found in a portable cooler and a set of measuring scales nearby. A further 71 grams of cannabis buds was found inside the house.
Gosling pleaded guilty to one count of cultivating cannabis at Ballarat Magistrates Court on Friday. A charge of trafficking cannabis was withdrawn.
Gosling told police he grew the cannabis for personal use and he had smoked the drug for 45 to 50 years. Gosling’s lawyer said he grew it for personal use, adding he grew it only once.
Magistrate Ron Saines told Gosling he found it difficult to accept he only grew the cannabis once.
He said he would sentence Gosling on the cultivating cannabis charge, but reminded him trafficking cannabis was punishable by 15 years imprisonment.
“Don’t ever lose sight of being found guilty of trafficking here,” Mr Saines said.
In sentencing, Mr Saines issued another warning to Gosling. “This is a trigger to cease cannabis use. There must be a message of denunciation of cultivating cannabis.”
He warned Gosling his offending posed a risk to his wife and family if community members discovered he was growing cannabis at his property.
Gosling’s lawyer urged the court to sentence his client to a community corrections order or a fine.
“The court will never see Mr Gosling again,” the lawyer said.
Gosling was convicted and fined $2500. He was ordered to pay $79.50 in court costs. A police application to take a DNA sample from Gosling was refused. The court ordered all drugs and equipment to be destroyed.