Man caught growing marijuana in rural area

A BAFFLE CREEK man’s marijuana growing set-up has been described as “reasonably sophisticated” by police.

Shane Anthony Prestwidge, 47, pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Wednesday to eight charges, including producing and possessing dangerous drugs and drink-driving.

On November 26, 2019, police executed a search warrant at a Baffle Creek address where they located 14 marijuana plants growing in a tent as well as growing lights, an extraction fan, a fan and two grow lamps.

An additional marijuana plant was found growing in a pot in a garden near the tent.

In Prestwidge’s car, police found 11g of marijuana in three separate bags.

In the house, they found a grinder with marijuana residue, and in a work shed there were used needles which Prestwidge said were for injecting amphetamines.

Months later, on May 9 at 6.42am, Prestwidge was stopped on the Bruce Highway in Bororen for a breath test where he blew 0.086.

Prestwidge said he had consumed a number of glasses of Vodka the night before.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Carl Spargo described Prestwidge’s set up as “reasonably sophisticated.”

Defence lawyer Cassandra Ditchfield said her client, a self-employed concreter, was using the marijuana for personal use.

She said the offending occurred after he lost his father, who was also his business partner, then a month later his wife passed away.

“To say he was in a bad state would be putting it mildly,” Ms Ditchfield said.

She said Prestwidge had “foolishly” turned to drugs to cope, but the charges had been a wake-up call and he no longer used them.

Prestwidge was fined $1500 and approved for a work licence for four months.

No convictions were recorded for the drugs offences, however a conviction was recorded for drink-driving.

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