Man acquitted of cannabis-to-sell charge

Gisborne Courthouse. File picture by Rebecca Grunwell

A JURY has accepted a man did not intend to sell the cannabis found in his possession, in law, more than 18 times the presumptive level for supply.

Krom Caesar Hale, 28, part-time painter, was acquitted in less than an hour on a single charge of possessing cannabis for sale.

The charge related to 552.2 grams of cannabis police found when they searched Hale’s Wainui Road residence on May 1, 2015.

Crown prosecutor Fiona Cleary told the jury the police finds proved Hale intended to sell cannabis.

Two bags of what appeared to be mostly cannabis head were found; a plastic one containing 212.7 grams, in a backpack he used for polytechnic, and a paper takeaway bag containing 313.6 grams in a cupboard near the lounge.
On a dining room chair, in a backpack along with a folder containing Hale’s polytechnic notes, was a plastic bag containing 212.7grams of cannabis, mainly head material.

A box strung over with nylon, similar to those commonly used as portable cannabis drying racks, was found in a spare bedroom. It contained a small amount of cannabis.

A set of electronic digital scales, capable of weighing amounts up to 100 grams in 0.01gram increments, like those commonly used by drug dealers for measuring various substances, was found in a Swandri in the back of Krom’s wardrobe.

While the onus was on the Crown to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the material found was cannabis and that it was Hale’s, there was an onus on him, although a lesser one, to prove that on a balance of probabilities (more likely than not) it was only for his own use.

Crown witness police drug expert Detective Mathew Harvey told the court in his experience people who purported to be heavy users generally claimed to consume about half an ounce a week.

Under cross-examination by counsel Annabel Ives, he confirmed there was none of the paraphernalia commonly associated with drug dealing found at the house — no cash, tick books, plastic bags or tinfoil found at the house.

But Det Harvey said that type of evidence was not always present. It could have been that Hale had not yet begun sales.

Detective Brent Griffiths confirmed to Ms Ives that police went to the property on an unrelated matter.

Phones that were seized contained no text data or photographs that could have been evidential.

Hale did not dispute the cannabis was his and elected to give evidence, saying he was a regular cannabis user and the drug was all for his own use.

He funded his studies and lifestyle with part-time work and a student loan.

The paper bag full of the cannabis found in his possession was from a few plants he had grown at a family property at Tokomaru Bay. It still contained a lot of stalks, as he had not completely finished drying and processing it.

The plastic bag found in his backpack was given to him at polytechnic a few weeks earlier as payment for a motorbike. He had not yet got around to putting it in an airtight container or doing anything else with it.

A JURY has accepted a man did not intend to sell the cannabis found in his possession, in law, more than 18 times the presumptive level for supply.

Krom Caesar Hale, 28, part-time painter, was acquitted in less than an hour on a single charge of possessing cannabis for sale.

The charge related to 552.2 grams of cannabis police found when they searched Hale’s Wainui Road residence on May 1, 2015.

Crown prosecutor Fiona Cleary told the jury the police finds proved Hale intended to sell cannabis.

Two bags of what appeared to be mostly cannabis head were found; a plastic one containing 212.7 grams, in a backpack he used for polytechnic, and a paper takeaway bag containing 313.6 grams in a cupboard near the lounge.
On a dining room chair, in a backpack along with a folder containing Hale’s polytechnic notes, was a plastic bag containing 212.7grams of cannabis, mainly head material.

A box strung over with nylon, similar to those commonly used as portable cannabis drying racks, was found in a spare bedroom. It contained a small amount of cannabis.

A set of electronic digital scales, capable of weighing amounts up to 100 grams in 0.01gram increments, like those commonly used by drug dealers for measuring various substances, was found in a Swandri in the back of Krom’s wardrobe.

While the onus was on the Crown to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the material found was cannabis and that it was Hale’s, there was an onus on him, although a lesser one, to prove that on a balance of probabilities (more likely than not) it was only for his own use.

Crown witness police drug expert Detective Mathew Harvey told the court in his experience people who purported to be heavy users generally claimed to consume about half an ounce a week.

Under cross-examination by counsel Annabel Ives, he confirmed there was none of the paraphernalia commonly associated with drug dealing found at the house — no cash, tick books, plastic bags or tinfoil found at the house.

But Det Harvey said that type of evidence was not always present. It could have been that Hale had not yet begun sales.

Detective Brent Griffiths confirmed to Ms Ives that police went to the property on an unrelated matter.

Phones that were seized contained no text data or photographs that could have been evidential.

Hale did not dispute the cannabis was his and elected to give evidence, saying he was a regular cannabis user and the drug was all for his own use.

He funded his studies and lifestyle with part-time work and a student loan.

The paper bag full of the cannabis found in his possession was from a few plants he had grown at a family property at Tokomaru Bay. It still contained a lot of stalks, as he had not completely finished drying and processing it.

The plastic bag found in his backpack was given to him at polytechnic a few weeks earlier as payment for a motorbike. He had not yet got around to putting it in an airtight container or doing anything else with it.

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