Christopher Andrew Wintle has avoided a jail term for breaching a suspended sentence

Christopher Andrew Wintle, 29, faced Bunbury Magistrates Court on Thursday, September 6 charged with one count of cultivating a prohibited plant (cannabis) and one of unlawful wounding.

He pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis in his home and not guilty to injuring a man in Eaton on June 11.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Greg Ward told the court Wintle was spotted by police on Sophia Place, Australind at 8.20am on Monday, May 7.

He was signalled by police, before he threw a cannabis plant out of the vehicle. 

Mr Wintle admitted to having a small hydroponic set-up at his home designed for the specific purpose of cultivating cannabis. 

Police searched his home that day, with officers uncovering various items including cannabis plants and water containers. 

The court heard the incident breached a suspended sentence – for seven months, suspended for one year –handed down on June 26, 2017, due to end on June 25 this year.

The suspended sentence stemmed from a charge of creating false belief, following an incident in April 2016.

Wintle originally told police that his partner had tried to run him off the road, leading to his partner being charged and required to attend court. 

The partner pleaded not guilty over the incident, before it was revealed Wintle had lied.

Defence lawyer Michael Joubert said the drug charge was not serious enough to have breached the suspended sentence. 

He added the incident should not lead to a term of imprisonment.

Magistrate Evan Shackleton reminded Wintle about the seriousness of his actions.

He said Wintle made the choice to break the law and put himself at risk of going to prison. 

“You went into the casino of law and put money on red, and you lost it all,” Mr Shackleton said. 

Mr Shackleton said serious breaches typically led to offenders being sent to jail.

He agreed with Mr Joubert, saying that Wintle – after assisting police and admitting to owning a hydroponic set-up – should not be sent to prison. 

Wintle was fined $3300 and forced to pay costs of $190.85. 

A destruction order for the items used in the hydroponic set-up was also issued. 

For Wintle’s not guilty plea, the magistrate has given a trial date for February 4, 2019.

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