Man who grew weed to pay off mortgage jailed

A 65-YEAR-OLD Westbrook man who turned his semi-rural property into a sophisticated marijuana farm to pay off his mortgage has received a 15-year jail sentence.

But less than one year after police found 301 marijuana plants growing on Carl Richard Statham's property outside Toowoomba, he was busted with methlyamphetamine while on bail.

He was found with methylamphetamine that had a street value up to $250,000, along with enough pseudoephedrine to make up to $15,000 worth of methylamphetamine.

During the first raid in 2011 when police found the marijuana, they also found $30,000 in cash in Statham's bedroom, even though he only received a small family allowance.

Statham said he used the drug money to pay off a debt to his former wife, as well as his mortgage.

But he told police he never used drugs himself.

Justice John Byrne said it was "regrettable" Statham had not learned from his mistake more than 10 years ago, when he was jailed for producing and trafficking marijuana at a Toowoomba residence.

"It might have been expected after serving that sentence you would have decided you needed other income," he said.

When Justice Applegarth sentenced Statham on Monday in the Brisbane Supreme Court he said he would make a slight allowance for Statham's "advanced age".

"You might find prison more difficult than someone of a younger age," he said.

Taking into account time served in custody, Statham will be eligible for parole on May 23, 2016.

- APN NEWSDESK



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