ACT News

Young woman not guilty of role in Macgregor grow house worth $500,000

The hydroponic cannabis setup found in one room at a home in Macgregor in 2012.
The hydroponic cannabis setup found in one room at a home in Macgregor in 2012. Photo: ACT Policing

A young Canberra woman has been found not guilty of growing a large quantity of cannabis worth almost $500,000 in her parents' former home in Macgregor.

Rene Kremisis, 21, was one of four people to face court after a crop of 98 marijuana plants was found in the home on November 2012, but she was cleared in the ACT Supreme Court on Tuesday.

The prosecution had alleged that between September and November 2012, Ms Kremisis helped cultivate the crop.

But Chief Justice Helen Murrell said there was no evidence Ms Kremisis had tended to the plants despite being seen in the property on several times.

The Crown had alleged Ms Kremisis spent significant times in parts of the house where there would have been nothing else to do but tend to the crop.

Police had installed a camera in the kitchen of the home and Ms Kremisis was shown in the house during what the prosecution described as the operation in "full swing".

The cannabis was grown using an expansive hydroponic system spread through most rooms.

The power had been diverted, holes punched in the walls, ventilation pipes and carbon filters installed, and electrical cables ran through the home.

Crown prosecutor Anthony Williamson told the court the house except for the kitchen and lounge had been "consumed" by the cannabis crop.

Ms Kremisis was due to appear before the ACT Supreme Court alongside Mohanad Quzag, 23, in late November but Quzag pleaded guilty to cultivating the crop just before the trial, leaving Kremisis to fight the charges alone.

Justice Murrell said Ms Kremisis had confronted Quzag inside the property and asked him if he was scared, saying he should be.

She said it was possible Ms Kremisis did not tend to the crops and clearly showed little commitment to growing the plants, evidenced by her sporadic appearances at the house.

Ms Kremisis had lived in the Macgregor home with her family, but her mother and father separated and she moved out with her mother, the court heard. 

Her parents continued to own the home.

Justice Murrell said Ms Kremisis' decision not to inform her mother of the plants at the house was an omission rather than an act of aiding or abetting, and could not be distinguished from reporting the matter to the police.

Ms Kremisis' lawyer, Craig Lynch, told the court neither her DNA nor fingerprints had been found on seized items associated with the hydroponic set-up.

The prosecution estimated that, once mature, the crop would have sold for almost $500,000.

Ms Kremisis' mother gave evidence during the trial, saying she was devastated to learn her former home had been used to grow cannabis. 

"I lost my house. I'd lost everything in my life," she said.