Sunderland drug user thanks magistrates for locking him up – after begging them for jail sentence

Patrick Storey, 32, formerly of Norfolk Street, Sunderland.
Patrick Storey, 32, formerly of Norfolk Street, Sunderland.
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A DRUG addict thanked magistrates for locking him up after begging to be sent to jail in a desperate attempt to beat his cannabis habit.

Patrick Storey had packed his overnight bag in hope of being locked up when he appeared at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.

The only way he sees himself ridding himself of that addiction was to spend a time in prison.

Defence solicitor Tom Morgan

And the 32-year-old had his wish granted when he was sentenced to a three-month spell behind bars after pleading guilty to producing cannabis.

The court heard how police were tipped off about a strong smell coming from Storey’s rented home in Norfolk Street.

Officers searched the upstairs flat on October 23 and found a host of growing equipment.

Prosecutor Lee Poppett said three young plants were fund in a wardrobe in a bedroom. Four mature plants were located in the dining room, along with 22 pots containing remains from a previous harvest. There were bags of cannabis leaf, and hanging mesh containers of cannabis bush being dried by a fan.

Storey was arrested and told officers he had moved into the property a year previously.

“He explained he had been growing cannabis for his own personal use,” Mr Poppett said.

“He intended to keep them for personal use as he is a heavy smoker.”

Storey’s last drug-related conviction was in July last year, for possession of cannabis. On that occasion he also successfully asked to be imprisoned.

Tom Morgan, defending, said: “Mr Storey is a long-term smoker of cannabis. I understand that it’s an expensive habit at the quantities being smoked by Mr Storey.

“He has made the decision to grow some himself, as many people do. In my experience it is the inexperienced growers of cannabis who find themselves in court for the very reason Mr Storey is here today, because it smells so strongly and people don’t know how to get rid of the smell.”

He added: “This is a man who is very heavily dependent on cannabis, and, rather unusually, Mr Storey has requested an immediate sentence today.

“He has attended the court previously and that resulted in an immediate sentence and that was for possession of a small amount of cannabis. The only way he sees himself ridding himself of that addiction was to spend a time in prison. Forced abstinence is likely yo be the most effective treatment.”

Storey was also told to pay a £80 victim surcharge on his release.