Rugby cannabis growers avoid jail - The Rugby Observer
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Rugby cannabis growers avoid jail

Rugby Editorial 8th Jun, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

Two men who had more than a third of a kilo of home-grown cannabis between them have escaped being jailed – despite a jury convicting them of planning to sell some of it.

Ian McIver and Fraser Campbell had been arrested after the police found some of the crop in a coolbag in the passenger foot well of McIver’s car.

Both men had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to producing cannabis after plants were found growing at their Rugby homes, together with some of a previous harvest.

McIver (55) of St Andrews Crescent, Rugby, and Campbell (47) of Follager Road, Rugby, denied a further charge of possessing cannabis with intent to supply it – but a jury found them guilty.

Following an adjournment for reports to be prepared on them, both men were sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years.

McIver was also ordered to pay £1,000 costs – but whether Campbell will have to pay any will be decided after the outcome of a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act later this year.

Prosecutor Daniel Oscroft had said: “It’s not in dispute that at least one of the defendants accept they were in possession of cannabis, and both had access to large amounts of cannabis.”

In April 2013 police officers on patrol found a total of 26.4 grams of cannabis in the coolbag in McIver’s car, as well as scales with traces of cannabis on them.

When both men’s homes were then searched, officers found a total of 162.35 grams of cannabis, a hydroponic system with 12 cannabis plants, a growing tent with a single cannabis plant in it, and £2,440 in cash in a safe.

And Mr Oscroft commented: “It is clear, we say, that these two gentlemen were not only growing cannabis but were growing it as a team with the intention of selling it to others.”

Both men, who said they had been friends for a number of years, claimed they were growing the cannabis for their own use, and did not intend to sell the cannabis they already had.

Campbell said they had met up after McIver had finished work that day, and McIver had asked him if he wanted to go for a drive; but while they were out McIver stopped and said he was ‘just popping in for two seconds.’

He said he did not know why McIver was going there, and was not aware, despite the distinctive smell, there was cannabis in the coolbag by his feet.

Campbell said he and McIver had set up ‘a 12-pot system,’ and were on their second grow, for which he had prepared cuttings and taken them to McIver’s home to be grown on.

And giving evidence, McIver also insisted that the cannabis was all for their own use, telling the jury that he had smoked it since he was 14 – but had been doing so more heavily to help relieve a painful medical problem.

But the jury rejected their claims that the cannabis, worth thousands of pounds, had all been for their own use.

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