Cannabis grower shown leniency

PUBLISHED: 11:00 04 October 2012 | UPDATED: 12:37 04 October 2012

Exeter Magistrates Court

Exeter Magistrates Court

Archant

Nine cannabis plants seized by police.

A man found growing his own cannabis turned to drugs following the death of his parents, a court has heard.

James William Hayden Bull, of Waggs Plot, Colston, appeared for sentencing at Central Devon Magistrates’ Court in Exeter after pleading guilty to producing the class B drug.

He received a supervision order for six months, including a drug rehabilitation component.

Prior to the hearing, the 23-year-old was given a deferred sentence for the offence which occurred on January 26.

Lindsay Baker, prosecuting, said that it had been initially agreed that some 14 cannabis plants were seized by police.

However, this was reduced to nine, which a drugs liaison officer agreed could have produced 458g of the drug.

She said: “He (Bull) has no previous convictions recorded against him prior to this matter.”

Ian Brazier, defending, said: “Mr Bull is a young man who has had some very sad difficulties - he lost his parents at quite a young age and found he had a lot of things himself to cope with.”

He told the court that, to cope with anxiety, the defendant turned to “self medicating” himself by taking cannabis.

Mr Brazier added: “He (Bull) was finding that it was costing him a lot of money and started growing it himself.

“It was only for his own use and not for anyone else.”

He said that Bull had previously “reeked” of cannabis, showing he was a “heavy user” but since appearing in court had not been in any trouble and had turned up when he was required to.

Mr Brazier added: “Altogether, he is more optimistic about the future.”

The 23-year-old, addressing the court, admitted that he was trying to reduce his cannabis use in view to stopping and said: “I’ve never caused any problems to anybody.”

The court also heard Bull was trying to set up his own pig farming business.

The chairman of the bench, Dermot Richardson, said: “You know growing cannabis is an offence in so far that you are likely to get a custodial sentence.

“The purpose of the deferred sentence was to see whether you could keep out of prison and find an alternative to allow you not to be sent to prison.

“You have done what the court has asked of you so far.

“Although a custodial might be appropriate normally, we are going to treat you leniently and impose a community order on you.”

The court also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs, and that the defendant pay £85 court costs.


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