Cannabis plants found after cops investigate leak

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A drug-user was caught with 17 cannabis plants after a neighbour had complained to the authorities about leaking water.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Thursday, November 10, how Blake Aaron Maynard, 30, of Alsop Grove, Fairfield, Buxton, had several thousand pounds worth of cannabis plants at his home.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “The circumstances are that police had gone to a flat below Maynard’s flat after the occupant had complained water was coming through the ceiling and police and a housing officer went to Maynard’s property and he was not present but they found a small cannabis grow of 17 plants of six inches in height.

“The plants were dying and wilting.”

Mrs Allsop revealed that a drugs expert employed by the police explained that the drugs were in bags and were mouldy, wilting and dying and the drugs had a potential street value of several thousand pounds.

Maynard told police he had bought the cannabis growing equipment from a friend and the cannabis was being grown for personal use and he denied selling any of the class B controlled drug on.

The defendant pleaded guilty to producing a quantity of cannabis, a controlled drug of class B, in contravention of section 4 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 after the discovery on July 25.

Defence solicitor Howard Bernstein explained that a lot of Maynard’s previous offending had been alcohol-related and he had been smoking cannabis in order to stay off booze.

He added: “He was given the drugs equipment by someone he fishes with and he thought some of them would die and that has been the case but he also thought there might be enough to smoke.

“He thought it made sense to grow his own cannabis rather than get involved a criminal community and work up debts.”

Mr Bernstein said Maynard lives with his partner and five of six children live with him.

Magistrates considered the offence was so serious that only custody could be justified.

However, they did feel Maynard is motivated to change and has been complying well with the probation service in relation to a current suspended sentence order for a separate offence.

Magistrates sentenced Maynard to eight weeks of custody suspended for 12 months and ordered him to pay an £80 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

The court also ordered that the cannabis plants and equipment be forfeited and destroyed.