NSW woman denied bail over cannabis set-up


A woman has been refused bail over an elaborate cannabis growing operation in rural NSW where children were found on the property.

Veronika Barto, 25, was arrested on December 31 last year after police uncovered a hydroponic set-up on a property in Elands, northwest of Taree.

In the unsuccessful bail application in the NSW Supreme Court on Wednesday, her lawyer told Justice David Davies she would defend the charges on the basis of being under duress from her partner.

Barto, who is charged with cultivation of a large commercial quantity of cannabis, is one of a number of people arrested after police located the set-up and seized 225 cannabis plants.

They also found four children aged between 12 months and nine years old.

In refusing bail, the judge noted she was accused of being involved in financing the large-scale operation.

While the crown claimed Barto was a willing participant, her lawyer contended she acted under duress of her partner who had been violent towards her.