Drug habit led to growing own

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A man with a long-standing cannabis habit decided to “grow his own” at his Fleetwood address.

But police went on to discover 36 plants growing in Stuart Irvine’s loft space, plus dozens of other baby plants in a rear bedroom.

He told officers he had been growing them for about six weeks prior to the visit to his home on Mowbray Road last October.

The 22-year-old appeared at Preston Crown Court for sentencing, having pleaded guilty to offences of cultivating cannabis and also abstracting electricity.

Frank Nance, prosecuting, said police were in possession of a search warrant when they visited the defendant’s home on October 20.

Two ‘mother’ plants and 84 baby plants were found in a rear bedroom.

There were lights and a tent to provide conditions for growing.

Another 36 plants were discovered in the loft area. The plants were under a light and a fan.

They had not reached full maturity, but it was felt that if they had and any cannabis produced been sold, the crop could have been worth £3,000 to £6,000.

The electricity meter had been bypassed to provide some fuel. An expert felt there hadn’t been enough light in the loft to provide for all the plants.

Irvine told police it was his first cultivation.

Mr Nance added: “The indication is he was farming for his own benefit, so as not to have to pay out the price he normally would”.

Mr Waheed Omran-Baber, defending, said his client took full responsibility for his actions.

He had got involved in cannabis at the age of twelve.

He moved on to using alcohol and got addicted to that, before moving back to cannabis use.

The barrister said: “In many ways, he has not had the help he needs to overcome those difficulties. This case has proved to be an eye-opener for him.

“He has been free from cannabis use since last November.

“With the support of his partner, he has stopped taking cannabis full stop.

“He has finally seen the light of day with his offending behaviour and is motivated to mend his ways”.

Irvine was given a sentence of three months prison, suspended for a year, with 12 months supervision and a requirement to carry out 50 hours of unpaid work.

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