A man who was sentenced in Whanganui District Court on Monday on four cannabis-related charges said that he solely ran a cultivation operation to relieve his pain.

William Puru, 72, was sentenced to eight months and two weeks' home detention for cultivating cannabis by Judge Philip Crayton, who wasn't buying what he was selling.

"You take that role firmly on your shoulders, but as was plain from my finding, I don't accept that you could have possibly done this at the age of 72 for the purpose you indicated," Judge Crayton said.

"The investment in time and money reflected by this cannabis cultivation operation was so far in excess of anything that could possibly explain a few bottles of cannabis oil, that I could only reject your explanation as utterly unbelievable."


On charges of procuring/possessing a cannabis plant, procuring/possessing cannabis oil and possessing utensils for cannabis, Puru was convicted and discharged.

Judge Crayton said that Puru was someone who had a positive and good character.

"You are someone for whom this is a first and very significant fall from that good character," he said.

"You have been someone who has led a blameless life up until now, a hard working life and a life which has been of significant positive contribution to others in the community."

Judge Crayton was told that Puru could not have a bracelet fitted to his ankle for home detention.

"I have to sentence you as someone who is engaged in the commercial cannabis cultivation that was found by the police, that was plainly an ongoing and quite sophisticated operation.

"You can have what was the old-fashioned home detention bracelet on your wrist."

The Judge also made an order for the destruction of the drugs and paraphernalia.