Burnley man had ‘cannabis allotment’ in back bedroom

Burnley Magistrates Court
Burnley Magistrates Court
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A MIDDLE-AGED man growing cannabis at his home in Burnley did not want to have to buy from dealers, a court heard.

Michael Hopkins (54) had 10 plants, sitting in water, with lighting directed on them in a bedroom at his property in Springfield Bank, the town’s magistrates were told.

He denied any commercial element to the operation and his solicitor told the court it was more of an “allotment” than a cannabis farm.

Hopkins admitted producing cannabis on June 10th and was given a community order with supervision.

Miss Parveen Akhtar (prosecuting) said police searched the defendant’s home and found the 10 plants in his bedroom.

He was arrested and when interviewed, he said the drugs were for his own personal use. He denied any commercial or supplying purpose for the plants. Hopkins added he knew it was an offence to grow the drugs, had been arrested before, but smoked cannabis and did not wish to buy it from dealers.

Mr Nick Dearing (defending) said it did not appear he was running a sophisticated set-up. He added: “It is probably best described as an allotment rather than a farm. There was only one light and no hydroponic system.”

Mr Dearing said the defendant was simply watering the plants and hoping for the best. The solicitor added: “He wasn’t arrested. He voluntarily surrendered a month later. The police don’t believe he is involved in the retailing of cannabis at all.”

Mr Dearing added the defendant, who suffered depression and was on incapacity benefit, self medicated by taking the drug.