Man grew £14,000 of cannabis at his home

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A man who grew up to £14,000 of cannabis at his home which he claimed was for personal use has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Police attended the home of Bernard Morgan on March 20 where they discovered a total of 24 cannabis plants, as well as a number of other items associated with drug production, High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard.

Handwritten instructions on how to grow cannabis were also found in the property, prosecutor John Cooper said.

Six of the plants were almost ready for cropping while the remainder were only a few days behind, the court heard.

In interview, Morgan said the cannabis was his for personal use as pain relief but a police drugs expert disputed that anyone could use 24 plants in a 12-week period, Mr Cooper said.

Morgan used the drugs in cake and the plants had a street value of between £4,320 and £14,400.

The 53-year-old, of Woolley Mill Lane, Tintwistle, Glossop, admitted producing a class B drug.

Kirsten Collings, defending, said: “Mr Morgan has quite considerable personal mitigation in relation to this offence.

“In relation to the crown saying it was for financial gain, of course it was for financial gain because he was growing cannabis, he wasn’t buying it.

“He has been diagnosed with skin cancer and is undergoing quite significant treatment in relation to that .

“The pain he experienced as part of that treatment and the condition itself at that time was considerable.

“Over the last two or three years he has had a lot to deal with. He lost his daughter who was aged 19, he was diagnosed with skin cancer, his son was in a very serious road traffic accident and was lucky to escape with his life.

“It is no surprise that he has suffered with quite significant depression.

“At the time he believed that cannabis helped with all that.”

She added: “Custody for Mr Morgan would be catastrophic.

“It would impact on his mental health and on his ongoing medical treatment.

“The thought of custody is truly shocking for this defendant.”

Morgan was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months.

He must also complete 100 hours’ unpaid work, pay £85 court costs and an £80 surcharge.

Magistrates ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the cannabis plants and equipment found at Morgan’s home.