Dad had 'no idea' the 1.2m cannabis plant was in closet

DOPE smoking dad Robert Howard told Gladstone police he had no idea a healthy cannabis plant found growing in his closet was even there.

The 1.2m tall plant was found secreted in his bedroom closet when police searched his Clinton house, the officers reporting it to be green and healthy.

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Robert Howard outside court. He told police he did not know he had a cannabis plant growing in his closet.
Robert Howard outside court. He told police he did not know he had a cannabis plant growing in his closet. Ross Irby

Cannabis plants were also found growing in a backyard greenhouse that Howard, 53, said were his teenage son's.

Howard senior (pictured far right outside court) pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court to possession of drugs on June 9; permitting use of place for drug activity; possession of utensils and things used in a drug offence.

He blamed ongoing bad back pain for his use of cannabis and appeared to be in pain while seated before magistrate Melanie Ho, who noted his discomfort.

Prosecutor Sgt Barry Stevens said a 1.2 metre green and healthy plant took up the entire cupboard in the dad's room.

"He says he had no knowledge of the cannabis plant. Yet his medication was found in the same cupboard," Sgt Stevens said.

"And he said it was a male plant and had to be kept separate."

The court was told a pipe was found in his bedroom and 188 cannabis seeds found in a glass bottle near the fridge that Howard senior called "my babies".

Sgt Stevens said he also had 11 prior drug offences.

Lawyer Jun Pepito said Howard suffered a lot of back pain and became drowsy on medication. But his pain became much better when he smoked cannabis.

Howard told the court he suffered with pain since aged 25. The pain had become worse after recent open heart surgery.

Ms Ho said she could see he was struggling and hoped he could find some alternative pain relief.

He was placed on six months probation, a conviction recorded.

His son pleaded guilty to producing eight cannabis plants on June 9. He also admitted that he built the greenhouse structure.

He told police it was the first time he had grown the plants from seed. When found the eight plants were between 32cm and 1.3m in height.

And Sgt Stevens said photos of the growing plants had also been found by police on the teenager's mobile phone.

Ms Ho placed the 17-year-old on six months probation.

A conviction was not recorded.


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