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Saturday, 28 March 2015

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Cannabis grower spared immediate jail term

A man who grew cannabis to self medicate has avoided an immediate jail sentence.

Christopher Holliday, of Fell Close, Silloth, was caught with a “small-scale but semi-sophisticated” cannabis growing operation.

Police only stumbled across the operation after searching the property, in Aspatria, for an offender they thought was there, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

Holliday, 31, had grown the drug to help ease the pain suffered as a result of two fractured vertebrae and a neck injury, the court heard.

Large tent-like structures were discovered in two bedrooms with power lines going in, light bulbs, fans, timers and filters.

The estimated yield of the operation was about 500g per square metre, the court heard.

Holliday was described as a “heavy user” of cannabis, which stemmed from self medication.

He has now sought legitimate medication and cut down on his cannabis use, his defence counsel said.

Holliday admitted production of cannabis, possession of cannabis, and possession of benzylpiperazine.

Judge Peter Hughes QC, in sentencing, told him: “You have a long-standing cannabis habit which has got you into trouble on a number of occasions.

“This time you have gone one step further and decided to produce your own cannabis.

“You have gone to quite a lot of trouble setting this operation up and no doubt anticipating you would benefit from it.”

Holliday was handed an eight-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months, an 18-month community order with supervision, and must obey a curfew between 8pm and 6am.


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