January 21, 2016

Two men who set up and tended a cannabis crop on the banks of Mannuem Creek were fined $2750 each when they appeared in Kingaroy Magistrates Court on Friday morning.

Scott Damien Landers and Bobby John Ruhle were conjointly charged with producing dangerous drugs, possessing property suspected of having been used in connection with a drug offence and possessing drug utensils.

They pleaded guilty.

Police Prosecutor Sergeant Wayne Bushell said police from the Stock and Rural Crime Investigation Squad in Kingaroy located the cannabis crop, a Honda firefighter pump, a 1000 litre water tank and 20 litre plastic drums on the banks of the creek in November last year.

They set up surveillance cameras which caught Landers and Ruhle tending to the 23 plants, which were between 30cm and 130cm high.

Sgt Bushell said the men had fully co-operated with police and Landers had admitted growing the cannabis from seed.

Solicitor Mark Werner, for the pair, said both the men had medical conditions which they were self-medicating with cannabis. They had been growing the crop for their own use.

Landers had oesophageal cancer, which was now in remission, and had also suffered a workplace injury where he had broken both arms, leg, jaw and injured his back.

Ruhle had been prescribed medicine for stress and depression which had made him “like a zombie”, as well as causing sleeplessness, headaches and nausea.

Mr Werner said society was in the early stages of legislating to allow people to use cannabis to alleviate just these sort of issues.

Magistrate Barry Barrett said that the offences remained on the statute books and it was not relevant to take into account what may occur.

“That’s up to the politicians,” he said.

No convictions were recorded and all items seized were forfeited.

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A man facing 65 charges had his strict  bail conditions altered on Friday in Kingaroy Magistrates Court so he could spend more time with his dying mother.

Phillip Carr faces a string of  break-and-enter, enter premises and attempt to enter premises charges.

He has been on bail since last July and his solicitor Mark Werner said it could be another six or seven months before the charges were finalised.

Bail conditions included a curfew which would have prevented him from leaving his home to visit his mother in a medical emergency.

Magistrate Barrett varied the bail conditions to include this as a reason, and also reduced his reporting conditions from twice a week to once a week.

The charges are expected to be heard in the District Court after a Registry Committal.

* * *

Brendon John Jackson appeared unrepresented in Kingaroy Magistrates Court via videolink from Maryborough Correctional Centre.

Jackson faces 11 charges, including drug possession and drug trafficking.

Police Prosecutor Sgt Bushell said he understood Jackson’s legal representatives intended to make a bail application in the Supreme Court.

He said a lab report on the drugs allegedly seized by police had come back, showing a purity of 73 per cent.

Sgr Bushell said the charges would definitely have to be heard in the District Court.

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