Fire leads to Eaglehawk drug bust

A BACKYARD camp fire has landed a Bendigo man in jail.

Police nabbed Lee Bailey, 31, with a greenhouse full of marijuana when they were called to his house to investigate an illegal fire lit on a total fire ban day.

Police members visited Bailey’s Eaglehawk property on February 4 to ask him to put the fire out.

When they arrived they found Bailey had 22 marijuana plants in his backyard, varying in height from 30cm to 60cm.

Yesterday Bailey pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates Court to cultivating the cannabis, smoking some of the drug in a bong and lighting the fire in a 44 gallon drum.

Prosecuting, Senior Constable Tony Graham said Bailey had been growing the plants for three months to “save some money”.

Bailey’s lawyer Luke Docherty said his client had a “long history” of driving offences but this was his first drug matter.

Magistrate Richard Wright agreed the offending was at the low end of the scale.

“I’m satisfied the plants were for personal use and not for the purposes of trafficking,” he said

“On these charges I am going to convict you and discharge you.”

But Mr Wright said the offending breached a suspended sentence which he would have to reinstate.

Bailey was ordered to serve three months’ jail.

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