Woman charged over Miners Rest grow house containing 183 plants is refused bail

File picture: A 48-year-old woman has been charged with possessing and cultivating a commercial quantity of cannabis.
File picture: A 48-year-old woman has been charged with possessing and cultivating a commercial quantity of cannabis.

A 48-year-old woman allegedly found in a Miners Rest home that had been elaborately set up to grow a large amount of cannabis has been refused bail.

Lucy Nguyen applied for bail at the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Friday, three months after her and her co-accused were arrested at a Keating Court property on December 11.

Police informant Senior Constable Samual Young, of the Ballarat Divisional Response Unit, said police searched the home to find 183 cannabis plants in five rooms that had been remodelled. 

He said the home’s electricity supply had been diverted after the property was leased in October, resulting in $14,186 stolen electricity.

Police allege two images related to the grow house were found on Nguyen’s mobile telephone, while a bank statement to her name was found inside the house. 

“Due to the large quantity of cannabis found police believe the accused is at risk of causing harm to the community by supplying the drugs to them,” Senior Constable Young said.

Defence lawyer Chen Yang had to prove there were exceptional circumstances for his client to be released on bail.

He said DNA analysis on equipment seized at the house could take months and Nguyen had three children. He said she had close ties to the jurisdiction, had stable accommodation and could provide a surety of up to $50,000.

However, magistrate Peter Reardon said he had reservations about the surety and was concerned about Nguyen’s proposed address given her partner did not know where she was one to three times a week.

He refused the bail application because exceptional circumstances had not been met.

Nguyen faces two charges, including cultivating and possessing cannabis in a commercial quantity.

She will return to court on March 20 for a committal mention.