Man loses $550,000 property after growing cannabis on it

A WESTBROOK convicted drug trafficker has been ordered to forfeit his home property and about $80,000 cash under criminal proceeds laws.

Carl Richard Statham used his 6ha property on Rowbotham Rd to produce and traffic marijuana between May 2010 and October 2011.

He was also caught using the property years beforehand to grow marijuana.

On another occasion, police discovered a meth lab there.

In a judgment handed down at Brisbane Supreme Court on Thursday, Justice John Bond ordered the $550,000 property and about $80,000 cash be forfeited to the state.

He said the Westbrook property was integral to the crimes that were committed.

In 2014 Statham pleaded guilty to trafficking, producing and possessing cannabis between May 2010 and October 2011 after police discovered marijuana plants growing on the property.

Statham also pleaded guilty to other drug offences, including possessing marijuana and other drugs, which occurred in May 2012. He was also found guilty of possessing meth.

Justice Bond said a lab and equipment that was used to produce meth had been found on the property.

Statham did not oppose forfeiting the cash, but his legal team claimed that losing the property would cause him hardship.

They said Statham was 66 years old and would not have any employment prospects once released from jail.

Justice Bond's judgment also said Statham pleaded guilty to other drug offences in 1999 after a "sophisticated indoor operation" used to produce marijuana was found at the Westbrook property and on another property Statham used to own.

This former property was forfeited to the state, but the Westbrook property was not.

Justice Bond said evidence showed Statham reverted to criminal activity when he was in financial difficulty.

He ordered that Statham forfeit his Rowbotham Rd property and $80,250 that police had seized.

The state's Public Trustee has also been ordered to sell the property as soon as possible.

Statham owed about $160,000 on the property and has lost about $390,000. - ARM NEWSDESK


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