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Kidderminster man's cannabis growing efforts 'amateurish'
Updated 9:02am Tuesday 29th April 2014 in News
A LONG-term cannabis user made an amateurish attempt to grow his own supply in the loft of his Kidderminster home, a court heard.
Douglas Phipps had 32 plants in a home-made set-up but his efforts at growing them had been "pretty poor", John Evans, prosecuting, told Worcester Crown Court yesterday.
Police discovered them when they called at the home he shared with his mother in Pershore Road, Kidderminster, on July 28 last year on an unrelated matter.
He was reluctant to let them in but when he did they found a ladder leading to the loft from his bedroom, which also contained some cannabis.
In the loft they found two separate areas containing the plants, with only 12 of them mature enough to produced the Class B drug. It was a small number, Mr Evans said, and he was not growing them for commercial reasons.
They were set up with flourescent lights, fertiliser and water nearby and could have been capable of producing just over one-and-a-half kilograms a year if the set-up had been working properly, Mr Evans told the court.
He said Phipps had been convicted of producing cannabis on a previous occasion and had other convictions connected to cannabis use.
John Rogers, defending, said Phipps, who pleaded guilty to a charge of producing cannabis, was aged 32 and had started using cannabis when he was 15 after a window fell on his arm. He used it to control the pain and had developed a habit, which he was now using to combat depression. The court heard he smoked up to 17 "spliffs" a day at a cost of between £35 and £70 and had decided to grow his own.
"It was a very,very amateurish set-up," Mr Rogers said.
He had become unable to manage without the drug but had now taken steps to tackle his drug use by contacting Pathways in Kidderminster, Mr Rogers said.
Recorder Stuart Sprawson said Phipps had now begun to realise the impact cannabis was having on his life.
He gave him a 12-month community order with supervision and a three month curfew between 9pm and 6am.