Teen discharged on drug charges

A teenager has been discharged without conviction on three drug-related charges after Judge Bernadette Farnan found there would be direct consequences if the application was declined.

Anton Rasmus Cousins (19), of Albert Town had previously admitted possession of class C-controlled cannabis plant, supplying cannabis and possession of a bong, pipe and grinder, all on May 27 at Wanaka.

At the the time of the offending Cousins was 18 years old.

When police went to the teen's house to speak to him about an unrelated matter they noticed a "strong smell of cannabis'' coming from the garage.

Police searched the property and Cousins admitted having drugs in his bedroom, which was above the garage.

A search of his bedroom located the bong, pipe and grinder, as well as other utensils, including scales.

"He stated he had just smoked a joint prior to police arriving.''

Judge Farnan said between February 1 and May 27 he sold $1000 of cannabis to unknown people.

He admitted $100 found during the search had come from cannabis sales.

Mitigating factors included his age, remorse, lack of any prior convictions, his admission, co-operation with police and steps taken since to deal with any issues he may have with the drug.

He had also been subjected to regular drug tests and had passed all of them.

Judge Farnan found the gravity to be at the "low to slightly higher'' end and said a conviction would impact on his future career.

Cousins wanted to become a professional mountain biking instructor - while he could complete level one and two in New Zealand, to gain the third level, to become professional, he needed to study in Canada.

If he was convicted he might need to wait at least five years before he would be allowed to enter the country, she said.

"Police accept your case is one where a [discharge] should not be opposed.

"It's not a situation where you have expressed some wish to maybe or [possibly go to Canada].

"You have concrete intent to do so for a specific reason.''

Cousins was, however, ordered to pay $500 to the Salvation Army Queenstown and pay $130 court costs.

Judge Farnan also issued an order for the destruction of the items seized and forfeiture of the cash.


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