A FATHER-OF-SIX who grew almost 500g of cannabis in his Brisbane home with an estimated street value of around $50,000 has escaped jail after appearing in court.
David Ljubas, 47, attended the Wynnum Magistrates Court yesterday after pleading guilty to drug charges including possession of a dangerous drug and producing a dangerous drug.
The court heard Police executed a search warrant at Mr Ljubas’ home in Belmont on January 3, where they then found three different hydroponic setups throughout the home with a total of 25 small cannabis plants, 23 medium cannabis plants and two large cannabis plants.
Police also found a pile of dry cannabis leaves as well as an Esky, which was half full of cannabis, more than 100 cannabis seeds and a book on how to grow cannabis.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Andy Ross told the court there was a total of 493g of cannabis found believed to have a street value of around $50,000.
However, the prosecution made it clear they did not believe it was Mr Ljubas’ intent to sell the drugs.
Mr Ross also told the court Mr Ljubas said to police that he produced the cannabis because he just “liked growing plants” and had always grown his own plants as it saved him money from buying the drug.
Mr Ljubas was also in violation of a Community Services Order after being charged with similar offences in September last year.
His lawyer, Jane Bruxner, said the defendant had been through a traumatic past few years after his relationship with his ex-wife and mother of his six children broke down in 2017.
She was then diagnosed with stage four, terminal breast cancer eight months later.
Ms Bruxner said Mr Ljubas had a limited history and requested immediate parole as any period of imprisonment would be “crushing to him and his family”.
Magistrate Sheryl Cornack said the matter was serious because of the nature of the setup.
“It wasn’t as if you had one plant for your own use or even a couple of plants for your own use,” she said.
When handing down the sentence, Magistrate Cornack said she was being particularly lenient as any jail time could be devastating for his family if his estranged wife were to die and Mr Ljubas was in jail and couldn’t look after his six children.
Mr Ljubas was sentenced to six months imprisonment but released immediately on parole.
Originally published as ‘I like growing plants:’ Dad found with 493g of cannabis