FIFO worker's 'sophisticated' CQ hydro set-up in bedroom
A DETAILED diary with pH levels, height, watering amounts and fertilising information for a hydroponic cannabis crop hidden in a Central Queensland bedroom highlighted one man's pride in his 'pot' plants.
Jay Damien James pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton District Court yesterday to one count of producing cannabis, one of possessing more than 500g of cannabis, one for possessing items used in the production of cannabis and one of possessing documents with instructions for producing a dangerous drug.
Crown prosecutor Lily Jones said police conducted a search of James' Boyne Island residence on December 18, 2016 and found the sophisticated hydroponic set-up in a bedroom.
She said the air-conditioned room had a gazebo inside with exhaust fan at the top and silver ducting running out the bedroom window.
Inside the gazebo were four cannabis plants 1.3-1.65m high, weighing 5.73kg without their roots.
Ms Jones said police also located a very detailed diary with an entry from January 29, 2016, where James noted the seedlings had been transferred to pots and the diary had a "hand-drawn plan of the drainage and feed system".
Police also located a copy of a cannabis encyclopedia and a book about marijuana horticulture, along with fertisiler, hoses, pipes, water tube, pH treatments, pH strips and scales.
Defence lawyer Doug Winning described an unsettled childhood with James living at Yeppoon, Noosa, Gladstone, the Gold Coast and Mt Morgan, but still living with either parent and completing the equivalent of Year 12 through Steps at CQUniversity.
Mr Winning said the former St Brendan's College student had completed Steps with the idea to study engineering, however he had since returned to scaffolding.
He said James now works FIFO in Western Australia, where he is randomly drug tested, and returns home to Bundaberg during his seven days off.
Judge Michael Burnett said one must infer pride in the care of the plants after looking at police photographs and the detailed diary of the production.
He ordered James pay a $3500 fine with convictions recorded.