AN elderly man living in the Tumbarumba region was nabbed for cultivating and supplying cannabis through his co-operation with police, a court was told yesterday.
Barrister Christine Mendes told Albury Local Court that Slavko Borovina was in hospital at Tumbarumba after being attacked by two masked men when he gave police permission to search his property.
The consent was granted before officers applied for a search warrant and Borovina realised what would happen.
“The offender knew well what was there,” Ms Mendes said.
“It is in those circumstances that everything became unravelled.”
Borovina, 76, appeared for sentencing on drug cultivation and supply charges, along with interfering with network electricity works.
Magistrate Megan Greenwood put Borovina on 12-month suspended jail terms for the drug offences and a two-year bond for the other matter.
Borovina was living at Willigobung, near Tumbarumba, when he was attacked about 9pm on May 20 last year.
He went outside to investigate a power outage and was confronted by two men, one with a shotgun and the other a length of wood.
Both had their faces covered and they tied Borovina’s hands and ankles before beating him severely.
He called out to a friend staying with him and he was also savagely beaten.
Both men were taken to hospital at Tumbarumba and investigating police were granted a search warrant and went to Borovina’s 37-hectare rural property on May 22.
They discovered the power meter had been bypassed, together with a large amount of cannabis and equipment associated with hydroponic drug cultivation.
There was a cavity in the roof of Borovina’s house with a large amount of exposed wiring.
An Essential Energy staff member confirmed the power had been bypassed before it entered the meter box.
There was less than a gram of cannabis in a bedroom, but a shopping bag on a couch in the lounge room contained 950 grams of cannabis head.
It was seized, weighed and police checked a hole for rubbish about 20 metres behind the house.
A large amount of cannabis stem and leaf matter was found, which appeared to be the remnants of harvested plants.
The total weight of cannabis was 1723.1 grams and Borovina admitted growing six or seven plants.