$1200 fine for drugs grower
A FORMER helicopter pilot who maintained a hydroponic cannabis crop has avoided a jail term but copped a significant fine for his part in the crime.
Steven Robert Scotney, of Toowoomba, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court to possessing and producing dangerous drugs and receiving tainted property
Police attended a Bucca farm part-owned by Scotney on April 16, after they had tracked a GPS device in a stolen generator.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens said officers noticed a suspicious-looking shed that had no windows, with air-conditioning and ducts protruding from the outside walls.
Scotney and his co-accused were held while police entered the shed, where they found a “sophisticated hydroponic set-up” with 128 marijuana plants that ranged in size from 5cm to 50cm.
Sgt Stevens said the plants were in starter pots and that fertiliser, empty pots and a watering system were found.
Defence lawyer Christine Delaney said her client had suffered from depression after a workplace accident in which he fractured his spine in 2001.
She said Scotney’s role in the operation was to maintain the plants.
Ms Delaney said the defendant had been attending Drugarm in Toowoomba to help with his drug issues.
Magistrate Neil Lavaring fined Scotney $1200.