A MAN who grew close to 80 cannabis plants in a hydroponic set-up at his home near Bendigo has lost his bid to have his sentence reduced.
Max Peter Symons, 32, lodged the appeal on the basis that the four-year jail term, with a non-parole period of two years and eight months, was "manifestly excessive".
The Court of Appeal judge earlier this week dismissed the challenge, saying it was without substance.
The court heard on December 16, 2019, police went to Symons' property in Cochrane's Creek, west of Bendigo, in response to an altercation that he had the previous evening with his father.
Officers detected the smell of cannabis coming from a shed and obtained a search warrant.
The police found cannabis drying on the floor in a bedroom and growing in a hydroponic set-up in a second room.
There were also four containers filled with loose cannabis and $125,850 in cash found at the property.
A second hydroponic set-up was also located in a shed behind the house, with a large crop of cannabis plants growing.
In total, 78 cannabis plants were found at Symons' house and shed, weighing 79.47 kilograms. The loose cannabis weighed 3.146 kilograms.
Symons was arrested later that day. He admitted that "everything and anything cannabis-related" was his.
Read more court: Man pleads guilty to shooting a woman in Mincha, near Pyramid Hill
On December 4 last year, Symons pleaded guilty in the County Court to charges of cultivating a commercial quantity of cannabis and dealing with the proceeds of crime.
He was sentenced a week later to four years in prison, with a non-parole period of two years and eight months.
The County Court judge said she took into account Symons' early guilty plea and that he had indicated "some remorse".
The judge also noted his prospects for rehabilitation remained guarded and would depend on his abstinence from drugs when released from custody.
Symons' lawyer told the Court of Appeal the jail term was "manifestly excessive" because the sentencing judge failed to give proper weight to Symons' early guilty plea and personal circumstances.
The appeal judge said although the offending may not have been particularly sophisticated, Symons' cultivation was a "one-man operation" so his moral culpability was high.
The appeal judge concluded that the sentence was "entirely appropriate". Symons' appeal was dismissed.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: