A Skelmersdale man who grew cannabis for medicinal reasons has narrowly escaped going to jail.
Stephen Jones maintained he grew the illegal crop to use for pain relief after suffering back injuries in two road traffic accidents. Sentencing him the Recorder of Liverpool, Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, pointed out that Jones had never consulted his GP about his back pain. But he said he had to accept that the CPS had taken the decision to accept his plea that he had grown £3,000 worth of the drug for his own medicinal reasons.
“I have no wish to go behind that charging decision and basis of plea.”
He sentenced 51-year-old Jones to four months imprisonment suspended for two years and ordered him to carry out 15 days rehabilitation activities. Judge Goldstone also ordered him to complete 120 hours unpaid work “for which despite your back problems I and the probation officer are quite satisfied your are fit.”
Liverpool Crown Court heard that police raided his home on March 28 this year after smelling cannabis and found that he had been cultivating cannabis in two tents in a bedroom. There were no plants growing but in ten bin bags officers found 150 plants which had been harvested. It had been grown in a “relatively sophisticated” system involving lighting, fans and filters over at least three months, said Dan Travers, prosecuting.
The electricity meter had also been by-passed in the terraced house to power the enterprise causing “potential risk to the occupants and neighbours.” Jones of Fawcett, Skelmersdale, pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis, possessing the drug and abstracting electricity. Neil Gunn, defending, said that Jones, who has no convictions for the last 15 years, grew the drug for his own use because of back pain after two road accidents.
“He made the foolhardy decision to research how to grow cannabis and particularly researched a particular strain which is known for high quantities of cannabinols.”
Mr Gunn said that this involved a high level of medicinal ingredients.
By Lynda Roughly - Southport Vistor.UK/Sept. 17, 2016