Beating led to arrest on dope crop

IT was by chance that police discovered an elderly man’s cannabis cultivating after he was savagely beaten by two masked men last year, a court heard yesterday.

Slavko Borovina, 76, was living at Willigobung near Tumbarumba when he was attacked about 9pm on May 20.

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 had been bypassed, together with a large amount of cannabis and equipment associated with hydroponic drug cultivation.

Borovina appeared in Albury Local Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to charges of interfering with network electricity works, supplying more than an indictable quantity of prohibited drug and cultivating a prohibited plant.

Magistrate Tony Murray adjourned Borovina’s sentencing until July 14 for a pre-sentence report.

Mr Murray was told that officers found 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 the couch in the lounge room had 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 police also found equipment used in hyrdoponic cultivation.

In a nearby hut, there were a large numbers of transformers and PH testers which were seized.

Police spoke to Borovina at the hospital and he admitted growing six or seven plants.