A MAN with ‘an idiosyncratic world view’ has escaped being jailed after the police found 143 cannabis plants growing throughout his Rugby home.
Terry of the Sandison Family, as he is known, was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for 12 months after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to producing cannabis.
Previous hearings had been disrupted by disputes about how the 39-year-old defendant should be addressed, because he did not want to be known as Terry Sandison, but as Terry of the Sandison Family
Prosecutor Simon Hunka said in March 2015 the police executed a warrant at Sandison’s family’s home at the time in Houston Road.
In various rooms and in the attic they found a total of 143 cannabis plants ranging from cuttings taken from one of four mother plants in the attic up to mature plants.
There were plants up to three feet tall which had recently been watered and were supported by canes in a room fitted with high-powered growing lights timed to be on for 18 hours a day.
The electricity meter had been by-passed, and in the attic there was a charcoal filter and ducting leading to the chimney breast.
There was also evidence of previous harvests, including bags in the garden containing 61 root balls.
Sandison was not there at the time, and he was arrested when he later attended the police station voluntarily.
He was interviewed and made admissions, but said it was all for personal use, for ‘educational research purposes’ and to have in tea.
Sandison’s barrister Jonathan Coode said he had been described by somebody who interviewed him as having “an idiosyncratic world view”.
“His beliefs are extremely strong and it’s a free country in which he is perfectly entitled to hold those views. But it has led to the writer of the pre-sentence report struggling to suggest any constructive way forward.
“The type of sentence is the difficulty in this case. This is a man who has, quite frankly, somewhat alternative views.”
Judge Sylvia de Bertodano said it was up to Sandison whether he went to prison.
Passing sentence on the defendant, now of Kele Road, Canley, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano, said “I have read a great deal about you, and I accept there is no evidence of supply. I am accepting this was for personal use, but it is clearly a large number of plants.”
Imposing the suspended sentence with no other conditions, Judge de Bertodano added: “If you offend again in any way at all within the next year, that sentence will be activated. So it’s up to you.”
As he left court, Sandison, who has had an application for a licence to grow hemp rejected, asked if anyone at the court could ‘point me in the right direction to get a licence.’
And he added: “I don’t want to come back, but I’m not going to stop taking my medicine.”