Father-of-four grew cannabis to help cope with pain following knee operation

Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001
Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001

A father-of-four grew his own cannabis to help him cope with pain following a knee operation, a court heard.

Peter Harrell, 66, was caught when police with a warrant raided a storage building at the rear of premises in High Street, Brandon on October 17 last year.

Today at Ipswich Crown Court, Harrell, of Elizabeth Road, Brandon, pleaded guilty to production of a class B drug.

He was sentenced to eight months imprisonment suspended for 18 months and ordered to pay £500 towards the cost of the prosecution.

Judge Rupert Overbury told Harrell: “This was a sophisticated small production of cannabis. While it was for your own use matters very little.

“The fact is that it was a sophisticated set up and the fact that it is close to your home where there are four children demonstrates irresponsibility on your part.”

Andrew Thompson, prosecuting, said that police found 32 cannabis plants together with fans and other growing equipment in a room hidden behind a panel at the rear of the building, which was being used for vehicle restoration.

When interviewed by police Harrell said that he had been using cannabis for pain relief following a knee operation and hoped to reduce the cost by growing his own.

Mr Thompson said an expert who examined the plants estimated they could have yielded cannabis with a street value of around £8,000 but it was accepted Harrell had no plans to sell the drug.

The court heard that Harrell had 29 previous convictions for 82 offences although none had been for offences of this nature.

Simon Gladwell, in mitigation, said that Harrell expressed genuine remorse.

He pleaded guilty at an early stage and was the sole carer for his four children.