Bideford man in court over £13,000 drug raid

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple - Credit: Archant

Police seized 101 plants from the flat in Bay View Road during a warrant which defendant claimed he was growing for his own use.

A BIDEFORD man appeared at North Devon Magistrates’ Court on Friday after police discovered £13,000-worth of cannabis being grown in his loft and bedroom cupboard.

Paul Cooley, 53, of Bay View Road in Bideford, pleaded guilty to producing the class B drug after 101 plants were seized during a warrant.

Officers seized three plants and 54 cuttings from Cooley’s bedroom cupboard, and 44 plants from the loft space, as well as two sets of digital scales and Tupperware containers labelled with names of different flavours of skunk cannabis.

The plants in the bedroom were estimated to have a street value of approximately £3,820 and the ones in the loft of around £8,989.

In interview, Cooley admitted he suffered from depression and back pain and smoked five-10 grams of skunk cannabis a day to relieve the symptoms.

He told police the cannabis was for his own use and he had started growing the plants three months ago after purchasing the seeds online.

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Laurence Overend, defending, said there was some dispute over the value of the cannabis but the weight of the drugs was accepted.

Magistrates deemed their powers were insufficient for this case and sent the matter to the Crown Court for sentencing.

Cooley was released on conditional bail and will appear at Exeter Crown Court on August 22.

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