Ex-manager busted for growing cannabis at caravan park

THE former manager of a Mundubbera caravan park pleaded guilty to growing cannabis in the Gayndah Magistrates Court on July 14.

Craig McGrath also pleaded guilty to possession of 33.6 grams of cannabis and possession of utensils.

Police located the cannabis and utensils on June 19 after searching McGrath's caravan at the Big Mandarin Caravan Park in Mundubbera, where he was manager at the time.

Police Prosecutor Pepe Gangemi told the court McGrath grew the cannabis 18 months ago.

"If it wasn't for his admission (to growing the cannabis) he wouldn't be before the court," Mr Gangemi said.

"Save for his admissions that charge would not exist."

Defence lawyer John Willett told the court McGrath grew the cannabis for himself to help with PTSD he received after serving the Navy in Iraq, Cambodia, Afghanistan and Timor Leste.

"He grew the cannabis to help himself sleep," Mr Willett said.

"He lost his job over this."

McGrath told the court he could potentially lose insurance for a property he owns in Townsville if he was convicted.

"Basically my house is in a cyclone area... only two companies will insure that area," McGrath said.

"If there is a conviction recorded I won't be able to get insurance.

"I'm trying to provide for my daughter and I've lost my job, if this conviction is recorded it will place me in severe distress."

Mr Willett said a conviction could affect McGrath's chances of future employment.

Magistrate Andrew Hackett said he could not see things McGrath's way.

"As an employer I'd be very concerned about assault and grievous bodily harm convictions," Mr Hackett said.

"I'm not satisfied I'm afraid that there is a proper basis for not recording a conviction.

"Without your admission there wouldn't be a production charge... and you did suffer from your prior involvement with the navy as a clearance diver.

"I'm not satisfied that anything placed before me places an impact on your social or economic wellbeing, it's not enough for me not to make a conviction."

McGrath was fined $400.


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