Executive admits growing cannabis

By Staff Reporter editorial@age.co.nz -
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Todd McIlvride, 46, whose occupation is listed as manager, pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis. PHOTO/FILE
Todd McIlvride, 46, whose occupation is listed as manager, pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis. PHOTO/FILE

An Upper Hutt executive growing cannabis at his bach on the Wairarapa coast was fined $750 in Masterton District Court yesterday.

Todd McIlvride, 46, whose occupation is listed as manager, pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Tom Andrews said police searched the Mataikona property on March 9, and found four plants in an outdoor growing area, protected by netting and watched by a camera mounted on a tree. One of the plants was 80cm high and the other three were about 50cm high.

Defence lawyer Steve Taylor said McIlvride had owned about 5ha at Mataikona as "a weekend place for some years", which he would use for hunting and fishing. He said the camera and mount were used for watching deer on the hillside of the property.

Judge Tony Walsh ordered McIlvride to pay a fine of $750 with court costs of $130.

Meanwhile, a Masterton man who swallowed illegal prescription medicine rather than have it seized by police was convicted yesterday of drug possession and obstructing a police officer.

Keith Nigel Woods, 48, pleaded guilty to obstruction, possessing cannabis and possessing a class C drug -- oxazepam -- without a prescription.

Woods was stopped on April 14 by police, who noticed a pill bottle in the footwell of the back seat of his car.

He admitted to police it contained cannabis, and police then began a search of the vehicle and found a second pill bottle containing three oxazepam pills.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Tom Andrews said Woods then "quickly picked up the bottle and swallowed the three tablets before police could seize them".

After a further search, police found one more oxazepam pill in Woods' pocket. Woods told police that he uses the cannabis recreationally and the oxazepam for normal living.

Judge Tony Walsh sentenced Woods to 60 hours' community work.

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