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Three years jail for ‘deliberate’ and ‘flagrant’ offending

A Greytown man has been sentenced to three years and four months imprisonment for crashing into another vehicle twice in one day while driving under the influence, and for multiple cannabis growing operations.

Colin Trevor Jones appeared before Judge Jan Kelly in the Masterton District Court on Tuesday afternoon where he was sentenced for 10 charges which he had earlier pleaded guilty to, including two charges of driving in a dangerous manner, one of driving while impaired, and one of failing to comply with a driving ban.

He had previously been sentenced for eight other drink-driving or driving while impaired incidents.

The 51-year-old forestry worker and beekeeper also faced three cannabis cultivation charges, one of cannabis possession for supply, one of theft [for electricity valued over $1000] and one of resisting police arrest, relating to three separate search warrants carried out at his home which found cannabis growing operations after his arrest for the driving offences.

Shortly after 12.30pm on September 1 last year, Jones crashed into the back of the first car while it was stopped in front of a pedestrian crossing on State Highway 2 in Carterton.

His car was written off and the driver of the other vehicle left shaken.

Jones was told by an officer at the scene that he would be banned from driving for the next 12 hours.

However, later that evening at around 8.15pm Jones was driving his work vehicle southbound to Featherston when he crossed the centre line and crashed into the front of an oncoming car.

This caused “extensive damage” to the other vehicle according to the summary of facts.

Jones was arrested after blood tests returned positive test results for both THC [denoting recent cannabis use] and methamphetamine.

On October 11, police executed a search warrant at his home and found 62 cannabis plants growing – worth an estimated $26,000.

A system had been rigged to bypass electricity from the meter.

Then on November 29 when conducting a curfew check, police again found 67 cannabis plants growing on the property – worth an additional estimated $26,000.

Jones attempted to flee and resisted police arrest.

He was arrested again on January 20, when police found 25 cannabis seedlings along with bags of dried cannabis.

Defence lawyer Frank Minehan said despite Jones’ “very foolish offending”, his client did not “present as an evil man”.

He said that Jones was remorseful of his driving offences and had apologised to the victims involved in the car crashes.

Judge Kelly described his offending as “deliberate” and “flagrant”.

“[Your offending] involved a considerable degree of premeditation.”

She said he had undertaken “commercial enterprises” to grow cannabis for profit multiple times and these were considered aggravating factors during sentencing.

She sentenced Jones to three years and four months imprisonment, disqualified him from driving for 18 months and ordered him to pay $668.94 for the cost of blood analytics and $110 for medical expenses.