Cultivation of Narcotic Plants, Trafficking – Commercial Quantity, Other Charges

Client has been charged with cultivating cannabis from his residential premises. His offending had been detected after the electrical by-pass system that was being used to supply the cultivation caught on fire and the fire brigade and police attended. Four rooms of the house contained hydroponics set ups. There was 52.34 kilograms of wet cannabis located.

The Crown were alleging a usable amount of just over 30 kilogram wet, which was 7.7kg when dried.

The charges our client faced were:

Kristina Kothrakis represented him at the Melbourne County Court.

He admitted during interview that he had had the set-up for around 4 years. He was charged with theft of electricity over that 4-year period. The police during the search located an imitation pistol on his dresser table.

The Crown were putting their case on the basis that he was cultivating for the purpose of trafficking. The defence case was that it was only for personal use.

Cultivating a commercial quantity of a narcotic plant, is a charge which the Courts take extremely seriously. This is reflected through the maximum penalty being 25 years imprisonment, and the focus on general deterrence in sentencing. In this case, submissions were made that the client was not an appropriate person to make an example out of. It was put, that because he had experienced trauma as a child, and had developed a serious addiction as a consequence, that his moral culpability was reduced. He also suffered from other significant psychological disturbances. Since his arrest, he had been engaging in psychological counselling, and drug and alcohol counselling. He had made huge steps forward in his rehabilitation. He broke the cycle of long term employment, and was less socially isolated. It was put on his behalf that a term of imprisonment could undo the great work he had done.

The Judge accepted that submission. The Judge agreed that this was a case where general deterrence ought be moderated, due to the link between his mental illness and the offending. The community was best served by him continuing to contribute to society, in the way in which he was. The Judge did not find that the cultivation was for the purpose of trafficking.

With a degree of cumulation, he was ultimately sentenced to a total effective sentence of 3 years imprisonment. This was wholly suspended for 3 years.


Kristina KothrakisKristina Kothrakis

Kristina has significant experience in criminal trials and also holds a degree in Science, majoring in Psychology, an invaluable area of knowledge, as many of her clients suffer from psychological disorders.

Kristina strives to achieve the best possible result for all her clients. Skilled, decisive and assertive, Kristina demonstrates dedication, care and professionalism at all times.

Visit Kristina’s profile to read more about her background and experience.

DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 25/02/2013