A 71-year-old pensioner charged with cultivating 121 cannabis plants was arrested after his 10-year-old son took cannabis to his primary school.
Edward Stadler, who rents a property on State Highway 1 at Te Horo and also uses the surname Grunert, appeared in Levin District Court yesterday. He was remanded on bail to reappear later this month.
Police raided his property on February 9 and charged him with cultivation.
It is understood the boy took cannabis to Otaki School on two occasions. On the second occasion the principal found out when another boy took some cannabis home and his parents advised the school.
The principal called Stadler's son to his office where the boy produced a container full of cannabis from his bag. The police were called, the boy was interviewed and the property was raided.
The 10-year-old was made to work outside the principal's office for one day as punishment.
After his court appearance, Stadler told The Dominion Post he would defend the charge. He also challenged how the "schoolmaster" and police treated his son, insinuating it was unfair.
"My son took a [cannabis] bud to school," he said outside court. "Another boy took it to the headmaster and he called the police. My 10-year-old son was interviewed by police and asked if he wanted to speak to a lawyer."
Police say they do not know Stadler by any other name.
However, Stadler has previously told The Dominion Post his surname is Grunert. He is understood to use the name Stadler when corresponding with legal representatives.
Otaki School principal Chris Derbidge said the school had no comment to make.
Detective Slade Sturmey said police had to follow strict protocols interviewing minors.
"It is my understanding protocols were followed throughout the procedure in this case."
Neighbours of Stadler say "Eddie", a woman and a boy moved into the Te Horo house recently.
- © Fairfax NZ News