l00 Cannabis Plants Found In Valentine's Day Drug Raid

PUBLISHED: 10:47 09 March 2011

Cannabis raid, Ely

Cannabis raid, Ely

Cambridgeshire Constabulary

Representing himself in court, French said he had been 15 when he saw his father die. His mother was disabled, and he had only seen his sister three or four times in two decades.

NEARLY 100 cannabis plants were found when police carried out a drugs raid on Valentine’s Day in a quiet Ely cul-de-sac.

Joseph French had set up a sophisticated hydroponics system in a bedroom of his semi-detached home - there was a fan and other electrical items to assist in the nurture of the plants, city magistrates were told.

French, a self employed plumber, told police he has started to use the class B drug following the death of his father.

Prosecutor Paul Brown explained: “Due to the price of buying it, he started growing plants himself, all the plants were for his own use.

“He explained to police the way the drug was harvested, 70 per cent would be waste. He said this was the second time he had grown a crop of plants. The first crop failed, and this was done on a bigger scale, he said it had really taken off. He was fully away he was breaking the law.”

French, 44, of Hervey Close, Ely, admitted producing cannabis on February 14.

Showing of photos taken by the police, Mr Brown said the 91 plants found at French’s home ranged from immature to mature specimens.

He continued: “It was an address in a semi-detached property in a quiet cul-de-sac.

“Police spoke to French on the door step. They went into a bedroom, the majority of plants were there, and found a hydroponic arrangement. They also found some tubs containing 18.3 grams of cannabis.”

Mr Brown stressed that no debt sheets or money were found at the property, the Crown accepted the drugs were for French’s own use.

Representing himself in court, French said he had been 15 when he saw his father die. His mother was disabled, and he had only seen his sister three or four times in two decades.

French told magistrates he lived with his pregnant girlfriend and there was a young child in the family.

“I have not smoked cannabis since that day and I have visited a counsellor,” he added.

The magistrates gave French a six-month supervision order, with £85 costs. The court ordered the destruction of the drugs and growing equipment.

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