[u]Geelong war veteran convicted of drug trafficking[/u]
AN 81-year-old World War II veteran and his wife have been convicted of drug trafficking, but have escaped a jail term.
Stanley Hepburn and his wife Gillian, 59, Bell Park, pleaded guilty in Geelong Magistrates’ Court yesterday to charges of cultivating and trafficking cannabis, the Geelong Advertiser reports.
Mr Hepburn also pleaded guilty to charges of possessing two unregistered firearms, failing to store a firearm properly and failing to store ammunition securely.[quote] Bogus![/quote]
Police prosecutor Sergeant Geoff Balchin told the court that police searched the property on September 20 last year.
He said Mr Hepburn led them to a shed which had a hydroponic set-up with 18 small plants which the defendant admitted to being cannabis plants,’’ Sgt Balchin said.
Sgt Balchin said the shed also contained fertiliser and an unsecured shotgun on a workbench and ammunition.
Police also found another hydroponic set-up with six plants in another shed, with four more plants in the garden.
Ms Hepburn admitted the couple had been cultivating and selling cannabis, in the police record of interview, he said.
The Hepburns lawyer Sally Flynn said it was difficult to explain why the couple had committed the offences and both were extremely remorseful.
Mr Hepburn served in the RAAF for 39 years and seen action in Malaya and Thailand during World War II.
She asked that the pair not be jailed, saying the whole process of being charged and coming before the court had been punishment enough.
Both were convicted on all charges. Stanley Hepburn was fined a total of $4000 and Gillian Hepburn fined $2000.