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Court Briefs

A St. Albert man charged with growing marijuana last year was handed a heavy fine this week after pleading to a lesser charge.

A St. Albert man charged with growing marijuana last year was handed a heavy fine this week after pleading to a lesser charge.

Cale Nathan Arthur, 23, pleaded guilty on Monday to one count of simple possession of a controlled substance and federal Crown prosecutor Kevin Short agreed to withdraw two other more serious charges.

Arthur was originally charged with drug trafficking and production of a controlled substance.

Officers with the Edmonton Police Green Team raided Arthur’s home in the Braeside neighbourhood on Oct. 30 last year and discovered more than 500 marijuana plants growing inside.

The plants were all seedlings in the early stages of growth and were in a locked room when officers searched the house.

Short told the court he agreed to the lesser charge because the operation was fairly unsophisticated.

“In the parlance of the Green Team officer I spoke to they were very scruffy.”

Short, in a joint submission with defence lawyer Marvin Braun, suggested Arthur pay a $2,000 fine and spend a year on probation, to which Judge Jeanne Burch agreed.

During the year of probation Burch ordered Arthur to report regularly to his probation officer and take any counselling prescribed.

Separate charges laid against Deborah Marie Broad, who also lived in the house, were withdrawn completely.

A Nova Scotia man told the court he would put most of the country between him and his former roommates, but the court made it legally binding as well.

Scott Anthony Melanson, 39, pleaded guilty to one count of assault, two counts of uttering threats and a breach of his bail conditions and was handed the 11 days he has already served.

Melanson also entered into a year long peace bond requiring him to have no contact with his former roommates and avoid their home on Sunset Boulevard.

The peace bond would make it a criminal offence for Melanson to have any contact with the two roommates or even go to the home.

Police first became involved with Melanson on July 29 this year when one of the roommates called police to complain that Melanson had hit her two weeks prior and was now making threats.

Melanson was arrested on those charges and put on bail with a condition to have no contact with the two roommates and not to go to their home.

He did both of those things on Oct. 8 and police were called again. He was arrested and this time was denied bail.

Melanson told the court he planned to leave the province and return to Nova Scotia and said he would have no problem abiding by the terms of the peace bond.

He was handed a sentence of 15 days for the assault and uttering threats charge, which was easily covered when his 11 days were given two-for-one credit.

Judge Jeanne Burch also handed him a $500 fine for breaching his bail conditions, but credited that against the remaining seven days of pre-trial custody leaving him with no fine left to pay.