September 20 2014 Latest news:
Friday, June 20, 2014
Magistrates hand a 24-month conditional discharge to cannibis grower
A man has been handed a 24-month conditional discharge after being found in possession of £1,300 worth of cannabis in his Bideford home.
Benjamin Pridham, 30, of Landcross, pleaded guilty to one charge of production of two cannabis plants and another of possession of 122.14 grams at North Devon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
The court heard that Pridham’s home-grown production system was ‘not particularly sophisticated’ and was solely for his own use.
Police officers attended his address and searched the flat and his loft, where they discovered the majority of the illegal substance and production equipment.
Defence solicitor Tony Dart told magistrates that Pridham had become seriously ill at the age of 19 after the death of his father and had ‘never quite recovered’.
Mr. Dart said that cannabis was ‘the only thing that helped Pridham to sleep’ due to his medical condition.
“This is not recreational; this is his way of helping himself and getting by,” he said.
“He has taken other street drugs in the past, but he’s off those now and gradually getting better.”
Sitting magistrate Commander Jackson said he felt a community order could disrupt Pridham’s current rehabilitation plan, giving him a 24-month conditional discharge and ordering him to pay £65 in costs and a victim surcharge.
He also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs.