Joel Csertu faced Caloundra Magistrates Court.
Joel Csertu faced Caloundra Magistrates Court.

‘Wanted to do it right’: Chef busted with weed set-up

A chef who was found with a "sophisticated" hydronic set-up of 13 marijuana plants told a court he "just wanted to do it right".


Police prosecutor Phillip Stephens told the Caloundra Magistrates Court police attended a house in Currimundi on January 13 after receiving a call from a neighbour.

Joel Csertu met them at the door.

FIFO engineer builds marijuana hydro set up as 'hobby'

'Just popped out of the ground:' 6ft cannabis plants found

"Inside the address, police have observed a bedroom containing an elaborate hydroponic system, growing cannabis," Sergeant Stephens said.

The court heard the hydroponic system was growing in two small camping tents, with 13 mature marijuana plants ranging from half a metre to a metre.

Police also found drug utensils in the house.

Csertu told police in an interview he grew the plants for personal use and to provide to his mother for pain relief as she was suffering from a medical condition.

"He stated he had been supplying his mother on a regular basis since December 2018," Sgt Stephens said.

"Whilst this is perhaps not the most professional set-up the court has seen, it is still quite elaborate and quite sophisticated."

Joel Csertu pleaded guilty to six charges in the Caloundra Magistrates Court on Wednesday, including producing and supplying dangerous drugs.
Self represented, Csertu told the court being caught with the set-up had been a big wakeup call for him.

He said he had since given up marijuana.

"There's some level of sophistication in the set-up and obviously you educated yourself in respect in how to do it," magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist said.
"Well I just wanted to do it right and that's the honest truth," Csertu replied.

Csertu told the court he was a chef.

Mr Stjernqvist said a jail term was appropriate considering Csertu's relevant criminal history.

He sentenced Csertu to six months jail, suspended for a year.

Csertu was also fined $250.

Convictions were recorded.

"Just stay out of trouble for a year and it'll all drop off," Mr Stjernqvist said.