Failed drugs farmer in court after killing cannabis plants

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A NOVICE cannabis farmer was hauled before the courts after his £250 outlay on growing equipment could not ensure the survival of a single plant.

When police visited Mark Thompson’s home in Pennywell on August 26, last year, they found two cannabis plants in a shed in his rear garden, Sunderland magistrates heard.

On searching the house, prosecutor Lee Poppett said, they found a further seven plants inside a black tent, which was lined with silver materials and had tubes attached.

“Mr Thompson was cautioned and arrested and told the officers he had grown the plants ‘to death’,” Mr Poppet said. “And, indeed, the plants weren’t in the best condition.”

Thompson explained to police he had bought the equipment for £250 and had been attempting to grow cannabis for two to three months.

The 43-year-old, of Penistone Road, Pennywell, pleaded guilty to producing a drug of Class B.

Tony Southwick, defending, said: “The situation is that there are no previous cautions or convictions. Police attended the property for other reasons and, as you heard, there was a concern as to the activities taking place and the plants were found.

“It was a full and frank admission. As you’ve heard, he told police that he had ‘cultivated the plants to death’.

“There were nine plants, because the suggestion on the internet was that if you grew nine plants you might get two. As it happens, they had produced nothing and weren’t capable of producing anything, because they were dead.

“It has been an expensive experiment. He has laid out £250 for the equipment and that will now be destroyed.

“The shock of me explaining to him how much more serious it was to grow these plants than simple possession has led to him completely stopping cannabis, which he was using for stress relief.”

Thompson was fined £310 with £85 costs and £30 victim surcharge.