No jail time for marijuana grow

Conditional sentence in Supreme Court for Maple Ridge father

A Maple Ridge man convicted of growing marijuana for the purpose of trafficking will serve his year-long sentence in the community.

Scott Petrie will have to comply with a curfew for the first six months of the conditional sentence and complete 50 hours of community service.

“I’m glad it’s over,” Petrie said before Madam Justice Kathleen Ker handed down her sentence in New Westminster Supreme Court on Monday.

Petrie, 50, was charged in 2010 with one count each of growing marijuana and possessing marijuana for the purpose of trafficking after Ridge Meadows RCMP found a grow operation in his home on Rothsay Street, where he lived with his son.

Police searched the property after receiving information about abnormally high electricity consumption from B.C. Hydro.

A four-room grow op, with 320 marijuana plants, was found in the basement.

“I accept that Mr. Petrie is remorseful and embarrassed about the situation and is unlikely to be involved in the future commission of an offence of this type,” said Justice Ker.

She noted the conditional sentence will allow Petrie the flexibility to continue caring for his teenage son.

“I have carefully considered whether there is a need to separate Mr. Petrie from society and I concluded that given his individual circumstances and the circumstances of the offence that he is able to serve his sentence in the community,” said Justice Ker.

Petrie told the court he resorted to growing marijuana in 2010 as a way to support his family.

Petrie had to quit his job to care for his young son after the boy’s mother died.

“It’s not something I liked doing and it’s not something I would get into again,” Petrie assured the court.

Petrie, who has no prior criminal convictions, thanked Crown supporting a conditional sentence instead of a prison term.

He told the court the past three years have been stressful.

“It’s more than putting your life on hold,” said Petrie.

“It’s almost a form of incarceration.”

Petrie spent seven days in jail after he was charged but has been on bail since.

Justice Ker said the offences carry a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.

In additional to the 12-month conditional sentence, Petrie received a six-month probation order.

He won’t spend anytime in prison if he complies with the conditions of his sentence.

The conditions include a curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. for the first six months of the sentence, keeping the peace, and notifying the court of any changes to his home address.