30 Apr 2013

Switched on Gardener bosses jailed

10:25 pm on 30 April 2013

The owner and manager of the Switched on Gardener stores jailed on drug charges plan to appeal against their sentences and convictions.

Michael Quinlan was jailed for four years and three months, while manager Peter Bennett was jailed for three years and nine months for selling equipment used to cultivate cannabis.

At the Auckland District Court on Tuesday, Judge Andree Wiltens said Switched on Gardener, which began as a legitimate business, changed its focus from gardening to cannabis.

The judge said staff and managers knew what was going on, giving evidence during the trial that only 5% of the business was actually operating legally.

He said Quinlan and Bennett have shown no real regret for their actions.

But their lawyer Paul Davison believes the sentences imposed were inappropriate.

Mr Davison said changes have been made at the business, such as staff being given contracts which enforce a no-drugs policy.