Judge rejects claim £12,000 of cannabis was for personal use - The Rugby Observer
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Judge rejects claim £12,000 of cannabis was for personal use

Rugby Editorial 2nd Jul, 2014 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

A WAREHOUSE worker’s claim cannabis with a street value of as much as £12,600 he was growing in his own home was for personal use has been rejected by a Judge.

Christopher Sheridan pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to producing and possessing the drug at his home on Robertson Close in Clifton-on-Dunsmore.

The 26-year-old entered his plea on the basis the whole crop was for his own use.

But that was rejected by Judge Sylvia de Bertodano who sentenced him to 12 months in prison suspended for 12 months and ordered him to do 180 hours of unpaid work and to take part in a six-month drug rehabilitation programme.

The court heard police raided Sheridan’s home in January after neighbours alerted them to suspicions cannabis was being grown there.

They found around 26 cannabis plants being grown in the lounge and a further 12 in a growing tent in a bedroom – a crop capable of producing up to 1,260 grams of cannabis.

He claimed he smoked more than he could afford to buy and was spending £200 to 300 a week before buying some seeds online and growing his own.

Giving evidence he said: “It was affecting not just me, but my family as well because I was getting into debt. I decided to buy some seeds online and grow my own for my own use. I got two tents, lights and fans, and pots and trays to put the plants into.

“The instructions said I would get roughly one ounce per plant and I was using over an ounce a week.”

Sheridan, who said he had funded the equipment by going without cannabis for a week, said £160 in cash he had on him when arrested was his wages from temporary agency job at a warehouse that he had got after losing his full-time job because of his cannabis habit.

David Everett, defending, said Sheridan had not been arrested because of any evidence of him supplying cannabis, but because neighbours had reported the smell of it from his home.

But Judge de Bertodano said based on Sheridan’s estimate that he smoked 30 to 40 grams of cannabis a week, the crop would have lasted him between 31 and 42 weeks.

She told him: “I do not believe that amount of cannabis was being grown simply for the defendant’s own use.

“I am sure, at the very least, he sought to cover the cost of the operation by the sale of cannabis although I do accept there was no ongoing plan to supply on a commercial scale.”

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