21 Aug 2010

Cannabis grower ducks jail by forfeiting house

5:31 pm on 21 August 2010

An Auckland cannabis grower has avoided an 18-month prison term by forfeiting his house, which is worth nearly $500,000, to the Crown.

The action, taken under new sentencing laws introduced last year, is one of the first cases of its type.

Police searched Daniel Geoffrey Brazendale's house last year and discovered 62 cannabis plants, some growing under lights.

He later pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis.

This week, the South Auckland house was seized by the Crown in lieu of a prison sentence.

Justice Cooper deemed the cannabis-growing operation to be a commercial enterprise and, using legislation enacted last year, ordered seizure of the house as an instrument of crime.

He said the offending would have warranted an 18-month prison term, had the house not been forfeited.