Explosives and a pistol, along with 13 cannabis plants and five methamphetamine pipes were found at a Blenheim property during a police search, a court has heard.
Gregory Brent Knight, 44, appeared at the Blenheim District Court on Monday for sentencing on multiple charges relating to the search.
A summary of facts said police searched the Stephenson St property on March 11 following ‘Operation Grasscourt’, an investigation into methamphetamine and cannabis dealing in Blenheim by the Marlborough Tactical Crime Unit.
Knight told police they would find a cannabis growing area at the back of the house, and showed the officers 13 cannabis plants of varying sizes.
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As police continued their search, they found a pistol and three sticks of power gel and five detonators. Knight was not a holder of a firearms licence.
Police also found five used methamphetamine pipes and cannabis plant head material on a bench near the growing area.
Knight’s lawyer John Holdaway said his client had been growing cannabis for medicinal purposes relating to a shoulder injury.
Judge Richard Russell asked police prosecutor Sergeant Nick Cooke whether police accepted there was “no sinister motive for Mr Knight having possession of that pistol and those explosives.”
Cooke confirmed there was no sinister motive relating to the offending, apart from the fact the pistol and explosives had been found alongside drugs.
Cooke said there was no suggestion Knight had been dealing drugs.
Judge Russell said he was troubled by the presence of the pistol. If it had not been there, he would have probably gone along with a probation officer’s recommendation for supervision.
The judge referred to Knight’s explanation for his offending that he had grown cannabis to help with the pain of his injury “and you acquired explosives and power gel some time ago and had forgotten about it.”
The judge read out the maximum penalties for each of the charges, which totalled more than 15 years in prison.
“It needs to be made clear to you Mr Knight, this is not a harsh sentence I’m imposing for these charges, it’s a sentence imposed with the intent of helping you and rehabilitating you,” Judge Russell said.
He sentenced Knight to three months community detention to be served at a Christchurch address, imposing a curfew of 7pm to 7am, seven days a week.
He was also given to 12 months supervision, with conditions not to consume alcohol or drugs, to attend an assessment for an alcohol and drugs programme, and to attend any appropriate counselling programmes.
“Police will no doubt be keeping an eye on you. If they found you again with firearms, explosives or drugs, then you can take it from me, a much tougher outcome than I’m imposing today would follow,” Judge Russell said.
The judge also ordered the destruction of the pistol, explosives, meth pipes and equipment related to the cultivation of cannabis, including lights and fertilisers.