A Whitsunday man was caught growing four marijuana plants on his property. Photo: File
A Whitsunday man was caught growing four marijuana plants on his property. Photo: File

Whitsunday man’s shed fire leads police straight to drugs

A generator fire might have burnt a Riordanvale man’s shed to a crisp, but the situation continued to go downhill for him.

Police responded to the blaze and made a chance discovery on his property that landed him in court.

It was Christmas Eve when Adam Mathieson Tester received a phone call from a neighbour telling him his shed was alight.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Jay Merchant told Proserpine Magistrates Court this week emergency services were called to the scene and when the flames were put out, police noticed four marijuana plants growing near the shed.

Sgt Merchant said the plants were various heights about 5-10cm and Tester confirmed to police it was marijuana he had planted about a month before.

More stories:

Sickening acts from 12 Mackay-Whitsunday predators

Yikes! Woman goes for swim in croc-infested Proserpine River

Hope new gel blaster legislation will weed out bad eggs

He pleaded guilty to one count of producing dangerous drugs.

Lawyer Elizabeth Smith, acting for Tester, said the 52-year-old man’s shed caught fire after he started the generator during a mass power outage.

The court heard his neighbour alerted him to the fire, with Ms Smith saying his shed wound up “burnt to a crisp”.

“He obviously wasn’t turning his mind to the fact he had a couple of plants out the back,” Ms Smith said.

Ms Smith labelled the find a “chance discovery” for police, saying Tester had read about the benefits of marijuana for sinus issues but had not used the plants.

“They were very small, he barely watered them,” Ms Smith said.

“He was surprised they were able to survive the way they did.”

A Whitsunday man said he was interested in the use of marijuana for sinus issues. Picture: File
A Whitsunday man said he was interested in the use of marijuana for sinus issues. Picture: File

Ms Smith said Tester had not had any contact with police before this incident and owned and operated a metal fabrication business.

Magistrate James Morton questioned why a 52-year-old man would want to grow marijuana, noting Tester appeared to be of good character.

“Leave this for the deros and the deadbeats,” Mr Morton said.

Tester was fined $500 and no conviction was recorded.

“If you have sinus issues go and see a medical practitioner legally,” Mr Morton said.


Whopping 350L of fuel siphoned from excavator near Bowen

Premium Content Whopping 350L of fuel siphoned from excavator near Bowen

Police say the machinery was locked and secured before it was broken into just...

‘Common sense has to prevail’: Not giving up on Bowen estate

Premium Content ‘Common sense has to prevail’: Not giving up on Bowen estate

The community leader says he understands Whitsunday Paradise should not come at a...

What’s next for our reef as 2020 named second-hottest year

Premium Content What’s next for our reef as 2020 named second-hottest year

Professor explains how the reef is around the Whitsundays and lists ways residents...