Sunderland dad set up cannabis farm in family home ‘to treat throat problem’

Cannabis plants seized in another raid.
Cannabis plants seized in another raid.
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A dad set up two cannabis farms in his family home in a bid to treat his throat problem.

Phillip Buckett used instructions from the internet to construct two growing sites inside bedrooms, equipped with high powered lights, irrigation, ventilation, fans and ducts.

When police raided the house on April 23 they seized a total of 53 plants, capable of producing more than two kilogrammes of the drug.

Prosecutor Claire Anderson told Newcastle Crown Court: “The defendant was arrested and interviewed and stated he lived with his partner and three children. They were unaware of his cannabis farms.

“He said he grew the drugs for himself. He had searched how to do it via the internet.

“He said he started growing for medicinal purposes. He had an undiagnosed throat condition.”

Buckett, of Turnham Road, Sunderland, admitted being concerned in the production of cannabis and producing a small amount of amphetamine found during the raid.

Mr Recorder Duncan Smith sentenced him to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with 120 hours unpaid work.

The judge said Buckett’s plan amounted to “foolishness”.

Stuart Graham, defending, said the cannabis crops were securely locked away in cupboards, away from the children.

Mr Graham said the plants were Buckett’s first attempt at growing and added: “He didn’t want to get involved with drug dealers.

“This was because of his throat condition, constant cough. He thought it would relax him.

“The plants were contained in cupboards with strong, big locks.

“He was the only one with the key and he kept that in his pocket at all times.”

The court heard Buckett, who has previous convictions but has been out of trouble for more than a decade, is unemployed but instead of claiming benefits he carries out odd jobs to earn cash.