You can’t prove my client grew the marijuana: lawyer

A Vietnamese man accused of tending to a marijuana grow house in Wendouree says there is not enough evidence to convict him.

Truong Nguyen was allegedly found in the house on July 18, 2016, cowering in a bathroom when police from the Ballarat Divisional Response Unit raided the property.

Police allege more than 150 kilograms of cannabis was removed from the property with about 200 mature plants and 60 juvenile plants making up the haul.

In his closing address to a Ballarat jury on Wednesday, defence barrister Matthew Page said there was no evidence linking his client to cultivating the plants.

He said there was no evidence of Nguyen’s DNA on equipment inside the house, no evidence of his property inside the house and no evidence he had been at the property previously.

“Once again the highest the evidence gets is that he is there and at some point he is there he comes into contact with the toothbrush,” Mr Page said. “He was there and that’s all.”

Mr Page said there was not enough evidence to convict a man of being involved in cultivating a commercial quantity of marijuana.

Crown prosecutor David O’Doherty told the jury Nguyen knew what was going on when a friend asked him to drive him to Ballarat. He said Nguyen told police he was not told why his friend asked him to drive to Ballarat and he did not know where he was going.

“In my submission to you, that’s fanciful,” Mr O’Doherty said. “We say he knew what was going on.”

The jury retired to consider its verdict shortly after 2pm on Wednesday. They will return to the County Court at Ballarat on Thursday for the trial before Judge Howard Mason.