Wednesday 21 September 2022 at 18.40
THE LEEUWARD – A 42-year-old man from Hurdegaryp and his 42-year-old ex-wife from Damwâld had to appear in court on Wednesday because of a hash farm. They had a house together, and one of the two was acquitted.
It was a difficult case for police judge Christine Koelman, and the hearing lasted about two and a half hours. While Koelman believed that the case – like all cases – should not be unraveled, the lawyers believed that the prosecution and the police had made a mess. “The evidence is subpar and this is extremely poor police investigation.” so said lawyer Van Stratum. Attorney Logemann added: “This case has not been given the time it deserves by the police and the prosecution.”
340 harvested plants
The nursery was discovered when the police paid a visit to the 42-year-old woman on Ds Germswei in Damwâld on 23 February 2021. Because her relationship was not going well, a restraining order was placed and the officers came to check if the 42- year-old man was present. On the first floor, an officer found a small hemp dryer in a grow tent. There were still remnants of hemp in the tent.
Officers continued to investigate and in a shed in the garden a cleared cannabis nursery containing 340 plants was found behind a blind wall. The officers broke open the door to enter. The woman had told the police that she had no idea there was a hash farm there. Electricity was also illegally tapped. The 42-year-old man appealed to the police about his right to remain silent.
Apps about joints
Police investigations revealed that the woman had once ‘texted’ a friend who asked if she could also ‘arrange’ pre-rolled joints. the woman asked her husband. It was striking that the friend asked if she should pay for it. The man told the judge he didn’t think it was anything special. “Everyone smokes joints, we’re here in the Netherlands…”
‘Sometimes you try something’
The police found another piece of evidence through the mortgage deed. After the nursery was wound up, the man could no longer pay the mortgage and contacted the bank. In connection with the hash farm, the man had said to a bank employee “You’re trying something…” At the court hearing, the man said that he just thought he was trying to arrange money. He also confirmed that he had a key to the shed. The house’s equity was temporarily parked by the judiciary after the house was sold.
The public prosecutor believed that a resident of a house should know if a nursery is present. “We’re already smoking hemp at the door to the barn extension,” the officers said. The officer does not believe that the woman had smelled anything. Furthermore, the bank account was hardly used to buy groceries or clothes. Cash came in. “I think it’s special how much money was deposited in cash, it raises questions. It can’t come from a normal income.” The officer required community service for the man and the woman, respectively. 120 and 100 hours.
The lawyers found the evidence too scant. For example, the boyfriend and the bank employee were not questioned and there was no forensic evidence. “You can have a key to the room, but that doesn’t mean you’ve done the cultivation.” Van Stratum argued for his client.
Lawyer Logemann emphasized that the barn was far from the house. It concerned a plot of more than 2000 square meters. “You don’t always need to know what exactly is in the shed.” The resident also did not have a key. He also asked for his client’s acquittal because of the ‘rambling file’.
Police Judge Koelman had to adjourn to take his time in reaching a verdict. She then started in the barn, because that was where the cleared nursery had been discovered. She absolved the woman to the nursery. “I follow your statement that you found it out and didn’t want it, and that you didn’t know what was in the shed and didn’t have a key to it either.” There was also no evidence of complicity.
The man was found guilty even though he was not present on the day in question. “You still lived there (in the period January and February ed.). You got a restraining order, but you were the owner of the house and you also had a key to the shed.” Koelman considered it proven that the man had grown hemp. She found no evidence of theft of electricity.
The man was sentenced to 120 hours of community service with a suspended prison sentence of one month and a suspended prison term of three years. He must also pay 30,967.10 euros, which is the amount that would have been earned from one harvest.