William Pointon called police to a Tennant Creek property to report that a young person had broken into his residence and stolen some of his cannabis plants.
Now, the 60-year-old has paid the price for dobbing himself in.
Pointon pleaded guilty in the Alice Springs Supreme Court on Tuesday to cultivating a commercial quantity of cannabis.
The court heard that after police arrived, Pointon invited them inside to inspect the property.
Officers found and confiscated 69 cannabis plants, some up to 1.5 metres tall.
Defence lawyer Noah Redmond told the court that while Pointon felt cannabis should not be illegal, he believed children should not have access to it.
“The fact that he did call police on himself for cultivating cannabis is a very significant factor,” Mr Redmond said.
“Youths were attempting to steal his cannabis, and he had a view … that children are not capable of making decisions whether or not to smoke cannabis … so he called police to prevent them having access.”
The court heard Pointon had grown cannabis for decades and did not sell the plants for money. Instead, he traded it with his friends for food, goods and labour.
Nevertheless, Mr Redmond reinforced that his client recognised cultivating cannabis was illegal and therefore wrong.
“Pointon participated in a voluntary record of interview in which he made full admissions to cultivating the plants and he had been growing cannabis plants for about 40 years,” prosecutor Glen Dooley said.
Pointon will be sentenced later this week.
“He must be given some credit for dobbing himself into police and for his motivation in doing so,” Judge Peter Barr said.