Websites showed man how to grow 20 cannabis plants
A DRUG user who grew 20 cannabis plants after reading internet instructions has been spared jail after a judge accepted they were for his own use.
Websites showed Ian Gibson how to grow the drug to feed his £20-a-day habit.
And when he was caught, the 25-year-old told police he grew the plants because the quality of cannabis he was buying was not good enough.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard how police raided Gibson’s home in Chell Heath Road at 5pm on July 17.
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Prosecutor Fiona Cortese said: “The rear bedroom door was locked. There was a strong smell of cannabis.”
Officers found 20 plants which were cooled by two electric fans, alongside six fans suspended from the ceiling.
There was also an irrigation system in place and the electricity supply had been bypassed. Miss Cortese said the plants were about six weeks away from maturing, with an estimated yield of 900 grams – a street value of £4,410.
During his police interview, Gibson said it was the first time he had grown plants.
He also said he knew what he was doing was wrong and pledged never to do it again.
Gibson, now of Dogcroft Road, Chell Heath, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and abstracting electricity.
Anis Ali, mitigating, said Gibson had used cannabis from the age of 17 and was a habitual user.
“The plants seized were intended for his own personal supply,” the barrister added.
Judge Paul Glenn said he was sceptical that all the drugs were for Gibson’s own use.
But he said it would not be fair to go behind the defendant’s basis of plea, which was accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service.
The judge sentenced Gibson to a 12 month community order with 12 months supervision. Gibson was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
Judge Glenn told him: “What the police found at the home where you lived was a small but sophisticated cannabis set up – 20 plants powered by illegally obtained electricity.
“The potential yield was quite substantial.
“The basis of plea – that the cannabis was being grown for your own use – the Crown accept that.
“There is some evidence you were at the time a regular and heavy user of cannabis.
“You claim to have abstained from cannabis use since your arrest.
“Time will tell whether that is true or not.”