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Weekly updates

Seems like Northern Territory’s banana freckle inspectors don’t live by the G code, dobbing in a couple for growing marijuana plants while on a routine inspection for signs of the fungal disease on banana crops in the area.

Russell Bernard Helion, 44 and his partner Tarnetta James, faced court where they plead guilty to cultivating five plants and possessing 455g of cannabis at a property in Tumbling Waters, near Litchfield National Park, NT. It has left the couple scratching their head how the police came to know the plants were growing in the remote area, and according to their defence lawyer Louise Bennett they “think it could have been [because of] banana freckle inspectors (in the area).”

Helion and James have maintained that the near half kilo and 5 plants of marijuana “was for personal use and sharing with friends” and this was addressed quite eloquently by Darwin Magistrate Greg Smith: “They must enjoy smoking immensely with that amount.”

Helion was also charged with possessing fireworks and unsecured ammunition. He was convicted and fined a total $3250. His partner was convicted and fined $2650.

Luke Karakas


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