Bristol man fined for growing cannabis at home
By Clifton People | Thursday, July 09, 2009, 07:00
A Clifton man pleaded guilty to growing 155 cannabis plants in his flat – and escaped jail.
Stephen Holman, 34, grew the plants from seeds in individual pots under a tent using specialist hydroponic equipment, designed to help them grow faster.
Bristol Magistrates' Court heard that the potential yield for the drugs could be 8.5kg.
But the court accepted that Holman, who appeared in court dressed in a smart suit and tie, had grown the cannabis for his own use, and had no intention to sell it.
Magistrates spared him prison or a community order, instead fining him £545.
Andrea Edwards, prosecuting, told the court that when police executed a warrant on March 25, he was caught red-handed with the drugs at his address.
Mrs Edwards said: "The plants were at various levels of maturity, and some were diseased.
"Mr Holman was arrested and interviewed. He admitted buying the equipment and seeds, storing the equipment and nurturing the plants.
"He stated that no one helped him to set it up, and he was growing the cannabis for his own personal use."
Defending, Tony Miles said that Holman, who lives at Clifton Wood Court, Clifton Wood Road, had no previous convictions and that there were no aggravating factors to the case.
Mr Miles said: "Even in personal cultivation, some people actually divert the electricity, but there was no suggestion of that.
"There was no concealment here, and it was quite open, in a room of the house. This was an isolated incident. There is no suggestion that he has done it before or that it is persistent, and no one else was involved."
Addressing the bench directly, Mr Miles said: "He comes before you contrite, having learned a lesson and wishing to move on without the use of cannabis in his life."
Sentencing, chairwoman of the bench Rachel Simmons said: "It is very serious growing cannabis as you have done.
"However, because of what your solicitor has said to us, we have decided not to give you a community order, but we are going to fine you.
"We hope that after this we never see you in this court again."
Holman was fined £470, ordered to pay £60 costs and a £15 victims' surcharge.