Cannabis seized from two homes
A CANNABIS user who was caught growing the drugs in two different houses has avoided a prison sentence.
Keith Brown was arrested after police were called to an address in Fitzherbert Road, Sneyd Green, when they received a call from a member of the public who saw somebody moving plants into the house from a van.
And more cannabis was discovered when a further search at a house in Great Row View, Wolstanton, where Brown also lived, was carried out.
During the first raid, officers found a cannabis growing tent with hydroponic lights and transformers in a rear upstairs bedroom.
Heather Chamberlin, prosecuting at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, said: "The defendant was in the rear bedroom. The van was registered to him. Inside were 11 small cannabis plants and five larger plants.
"Two were seized and examined and were 12 weeks from maturity."
The court heard the potential yield of the plants was 720 grams and the drugs had a potential value of £2,240.
During the second raid, cannabis vegetation was found in a tub in the living room and two plants and 22 cuttings were discovered in the air
Miss Chamberlin said: "Two plants were around 12 inches tall and had their lower branches removed. They are likely to have been mother plants."
In his interview, Brown accepted all the cannabis at both addresses belonged to him. He said it was his first crop and all was for his own personal use. He said he has health problems and the cannabis assisted him.
The 39-year-old told officers he had gone to live at the Fitzherbert Road address temporarily having fallen out with his girlfriend.
Brown, of Dividy Road, Bentilee, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis between June 28 and July 1.
Paul Cliff, mitigating, conceded offences involving growing drugs are always serious. But he said this was a relatively small operation.
"It was cannabis growing for his own use," said Mr Cliff.
"It was not particularly sophisticated in nature but he does accept an element of pre-planning in that he ordered the tent from the internet."
Mr Cliff added that Brown was a long-term cannabis user and suffers back problems.
Judge David Fletcher sentenced Brown to a six-month community order with a four-month electronically-monitored curfew from 8pm to 6am.
He told the defendant: "There was a number of cannabis plants. Some were particularly juvenile.
"In your interviews you have made it clear you do not see the use of cannabis as an issue. But you need to understand continued use of cannabis will result in prosecution. I ask you to reassess your attitude to the use of cannabis."
Judge Fletcher warned Brown that any further attempts to grow the drug will result in a custodial sentence. The judge reserved any breach to himself and a proceeds of crime hearing will be held later.