The Gold Coast Bulletin

Hydroponic set-up found


A “DETERMINED” painter stung for having an elaborate hydroponic system to grow marijuana in his Gold Coast rental has walked from court.

William Thomas Richards-Warrington on Wednesday pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court to producing dangerous drugs, possessing dangerous drugs and possessing anything used in the commission of crime.

The 27-year-old was convicted and sentenced to two years in jail, wholly suspended for four years.

The court was told police executed a search warrant on March 25 last year at Richards-Warrington’s Upper Coomera home and found hydroponic­s in two of the four bedrooms.

Prosecutor Blake Crook said officers counted 36 marijuana plants, 18 in each room, weighing just over 12kg.

He said police also found new hydroponic equipment in packaging as well as heat lamps, fans, water pumps, heat seal bags and digital scales.

Richards-Warrington’s lawyer Michael Gatenby, of Gatenby Criminal Lawyers, said Richards-Warrington was heavily addicted to marijuana from age 16.

“I’m instructed he has been smoking cannabis every day since the death of his best friend aged 16,” Mr Gatenby said.

“He says that family and friends suggested he should reach out and get some counsellin­g but he says he instead used cannabis to alleviate symptoms.”

Mr Gatenby told the court his client had completed a drug rehabilita­tion program and planned to return to Hazelbrook in NSW to live and work as a painter.

Acting Judge Rob East said three of the four bedrooms in the house were being used to grow marijuana, including two rooms which contained hydroponic systems.

He said the courts knew the “fairly sophistica­ted system” was often used to grow marijuana.

“It certainly shows a level of determinat­ion on your part to acquire all this equipment and set it up,” he said.

“Since your arrest over these matters, you have made real efforts to address your cannabis addiction and have made genuine efforts to rehabilita­te yourself.”

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