A former Kelso man grew almost $1 million worth of cannabis in a bid to repay his parents for losses incurred in the fishing industry, the Supreme Court in Launceston heard.
Thomas Peter Radley, 43, now of Port Douglas, Queensland, pleaded guilty to cultivating a controlled plant at York Town between October 2018 and April 2019.
The cultivation was done with the intention of selling or the belief that another person intended to sell.
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Crown prosecutor Claire Flockhart said there were three compounds of high-quality cannabis on a property in York Town when police raided.
She said the Greens Beach Road property was owned by a third party.
There were 263 high-quality cannabis plants which were ready to harvest with a value of between $714,000 and $999,600.
Ms Flockhart said the well-watered and fertilised plants were between 1.1 metres and 2.4m high.
"Tasmania Police drug expert Glenn Evans said they were some of the best he had seen with large crowns and a large volume of cannabis," she said.
There were several vehicles and at the block and a couple of boats. A large shed contained boxes of unopened equipment in the roof space addressed to a Beaconsfield business.
Ms Flockhart told Justice Robert Pearce that the $450,000 property had been restrained under the Crime Confiscation of Profits Act.
"The Crown asserts that 563 Greens Beach Road is a tainted property," Ms Flockhart said.
A search at Radley's address at the Kelso caravan park found cannabis grown in a similar method.
Defence counsel Claire White said Radley was a fourth-generation fisherman who bought his first fishing boat at the age of 22.
After a period out of the industry Radley's parents helped him back into the industry by becoming a guarantor for a vessel purchase.
"Income fluctuated and five or six years ago it was sold at a $250,000 to $300,000 loss," Ms White said.
Radley began using ice and cannabis partly to alleviate a chronic back condition.
"He latched onto the idea that a successful cannabis crop would help him pay back some money," she said.
"It was intended that he produce one crop only."
Ms White submitted that a first-time offender would receive a non-custodial or wholly suspended sentence.
Justice Pearce remarked: "Not invariably, though it was a lot of cannabis."
Ms Flockhart said that the amount of the crop would easily exceed the amount need to repay the loan.
Justice Pearce said he wanted to get Radley assessed for a home detention order and bailed him to an address at Kelso.
Sentencing is on May 6 at 4.15pm
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