‘Main man’ supplier dodges jail time

Invercargill District Court.

A SOUTHLAND cannabis grower described as a “main man” supplier was told by a judge he had come very close to being sent to jail.

Judge Duncan Harvey said in the Invercargill District Court last Thursday since Makarewa shearer Shane Robinson began his cannabis growing operation in April last year, he may have made over $350,000. Robinson (47) appeared on 29 charges of selling cannabis, one charge of possession of cannabis for supply and one charge of cultivation of cannabis.

Police executed a search warrant at Robinson’s Invercargill address in October last year where he lived with his wife and children.

They found a well set up operation with more than 103 cannabis plants all at different growing stages. Records from Robinson’s electricity provider showed he had likely started the operation in April.

Counsel Scott Williamson said yesterday one of the driving factors of the cannabis growing operation was financial gain.

Mr Williamson asked Judge Harvey to look at the sentence of a man who onsold the drugs from Robinson, to look at a comparative sentence for his client.

However, Judge Harvey did not agree, contesting that.

“The defendant is the main man. He’s growing it, he’s selling it and then people are getting into trouble for on-selling.

“That puts this man in a more serious position.”

It was quite apparent to the judge, cannabis was an integral part of Robinson’s life, he said.

“The report from alcohol and drug indicates that you are a high user of cannabis but you have made it quite clear you will continue smoking,” Judge Harvey said.

The judge said he appreciated Robinson had financial difficulties and he believed that may have been the reason he was persuaded to get involved in growing.

“What is clear here is that you have been a significant supplier of cannabis to the community.”

Robinson’s offending fell just short of him being imprisoned and Judge Harvey sentenced him to 12 months’ home detention but also gave him a warning.

“You need to be under no misapprehension if you are however to appear in court again on charges of this nature, you will go to prison.

“You do not know how close you came to going to prison.”