Flatmates grew cannabis plants from seeds bought in Amsterdam


SUSPENDED sentences were handed out to two former flatmates, who admitted production of cannabis.

Jason Butchers, 40, of Arnold Road, Binstead, admitted producing cannabis, a Class B drug, and offering to supply cocaine to another person.

He also admitted breaching a suspended sentence previously imposed for two counts of being in possession of a bladed article.

Joseph Bradshaw, 42, of High Street, Wootton, admitted production of cannabis.

The cannabis had been grown at an address on Monkton Street, Ryde, where the friends briefly lived together, the Isle of Wight Crown Court heard on Friday.

Police had spotted the plants growing in the garden and noticed an “overbearing stench” coming from the property, prosecutor Robert Bryan explained.

They found nine mature plants, grown from seed purchased on a trip to Amsterdam, and 12 immature plants.

The potential yield was 1,764gms, worth — if sold on the street — between £5,880 and £17,640. The Sentencing Council gave the value as £8,400.

The men said the cannabis was only for the two of them and there was no intention to supply or sell it.

Elisabeth Bussey-Jones, for Butchers and Bradshaw, said the value was arbitrary, depending on how the plants fared.

The seeds were bought legally in Amsterdam, but planted illegally here in the UK, she explained.

Bradshaw, a landscape gardener, had built his life up following the loss of both parents at a relatively young age, she said.

She said Butchers, a chef, had compromised mental health, but a supportive family, and had given up a previous drug habit and halved his consumption of alcohol. She also said he had come to the aid of a completely unknown person recently and saved her life following an accident.

She said the charge of supplying cocaine related to an offer to share some with someone else.

Butchers was given a two-year custodial sentence, suspended for two years. He must complete 25 rehabilitation days and adhere to a curfew between 9pm and 6am for two months.

Bradshaw was given an eight-month custodial sentence, also suspended for two years.

He must complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

The costs of £425 were to be split between them.



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