Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Man grew cannabis valued at £17,000 at Umberleigh home

09:06 12 May 2014

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

Archant

Magistrates order heavy fines for drug grower

AN Umberleigh man grew more than £17,000-worth of cannabis at his home, magistrates have heard.

Frederick Gordon Thomas, 49, of Railway Cottages Upside pleaded guilty to charges of producing and possessing cannabis at North Devon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Police officers executed a search warrant at Thomas’ home on March 30, and found a number of plants in his garage and shed.

Officers noticed a partition wall in the garage, behind which they found a ‘typical cannabis grow room’, comprising halogen lights and pot plants.

The ‘skunk bud head’ cannabis found was valued by experts at £17,200, with other, smaller quantities found in his house, although Thomas felt the value was closer to £5,000.

The court heard that Thomas had been smoking the drug since his 20s and had decided to grow his own supply as he couldn’t afford to keep buying from dealers.

As a self-employed builder, Thomas was able to construct the grow room himself.

The Crown was satisfied that the plants were for personal use and that Thomas had no intention of supplying to others.

Jen Law, for the defence, said Thomas accepted ‘full responsibility’ and had stopped smoking cannabis since his arrest.

Sitting magistrate Judith Kauntz said: “Clearly, this level of cannabis growing is very serious indeed and is not something the court takes lightly.”

Thomas was ordered to pay £700 in fines, costs and victim surcharge.

Mrs Kauntz also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs and growing equipment.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 15:12
Adam Joy and Maggie Frith and (inset) John Challis, Coolio and Chesney Hawkes on the video.

Actor from Barnstaple spent seven months enlisting the help of various celebrities to help with proposal.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:30
The derelict Brunswick Wharf site in Bideford. Picture: Sarah Howells

The prime waterside development site in Bideford is set to go back up for tender as council confirms it has terminated contract with developer.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:27
Pilton Park in Barnstaple was under water this morning (Friday). Pic by Brian Saunders

North Devon Council’s executive committee will discuss the flood defence plan on Monday.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:30
A masterplan is being drawn up for Severn Brethren in Barnstaple. Picture: Austin Wallas

Draft report suggests new cinema could form part of leisure-led Barnstaple riverside development

Read more
Yesterday, 08:30
Rachel Raper, from Intagr8 in Bideford. Picture: Sarah Howells

As part of our Let’s Talk About It campaign, Bideford’s Intagr8 says more should be done within communities to tackle mental health.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00
The future of Bridge Buildings in Bideford is 'work in progress', according to TDC's leader.

District council agrees it with dispose of the Bridge Buildings site after all its staff has vacated next year.

Read more
Tue, 17:00
Developers say they are closer to finding a solution for Barnstaple’s historic Oliver Buildings. Picture: Andy Keeble

More details emerge about ideas for Oliver Buildings as Historic England amends listing and developers reject 100k bid to buy historic Barnstaple buildings

Read more
Tue, 12:02

Police appeal for witnesses after collision on Friday at the A361 Bolham roundabout near Tiverton.

Read more
Tue, 11:42
Jack Johns has been taking the 22 press up challenge to new heights - literally!

Ex-forces personal trainer Jack Johns, 47, is scaling buildings, lampposts and even diggers to carry out press up challenge.

Read more
Tue, 10:14

The independent secondary school has announced it will close next year due to mounting costs.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications