Jobless man’s cannabis grow worth up to £16k

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A police expert estimated the value of a jobless man’s first ever cannabis grow at between £8,000 and £16,000.

Alex Johnson had 61 cannabis plants when police raided his Moons Green home in Moulton on June 23.

Two plants were in a foil tent in a bedroom at the back of the house and 59 outside in a cold frame.

Rebecca Ritson, prosecuting, said some plants would have been male – and no good for yielding cannabis – but police estimated they would produce between 28-63 grammes of the drug.

She said there was no evidence Johnson was dealing in drugs or trying to sell his cannabis, but a police expert said the cash value would be between £5,000 and £11,000 if sold by the ounce – and between £8,000 and £16,000 if sold by the gramme.

Miss Ritson said based on the lowest potential yield, the cannabis found would have fitted with Johnson’s habit of smoking two grammes a day and it was accepted the drug was for his use alone.

Magistrates briefly adjourned the hearing for a probation report and Chris Payne, from the probation service, later told the court that Johnson grew the plants because he was out of work and had no money.

“He decided to cut out the middle man and grow his own,” Mr Payne said.

Johnson (31) pleaded guilty to producing the drug and was given a community order with 150 hours’ unpaid work. He must pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Magistrates ordered forfeiture of the plants and equipment.

Solicitor Rachel Stevens, mitigating, told magistrates: “Figures you have been given on potential yield are completely irrelevant. You are not dealing with a supplier or potential supplier.”