Judge recognises addict’s efforts

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A cannabis addict was given another chance after being arrested for the second time in the same place for drug offences.

John Hatson, 38, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday just four months after he had been handed a suspended prison sentence for being in possession of the same drug.

Prosecutor Michael Crimp said Hatson had been arrested at the same location and driving the same car as when he was detained before.

Hatson, of St John’s Place, Bury St Edmunds, had been approached by police officers on the forecourt of a filling station in Tayfen Road, Bury. He was seen to swallow something which he admitted was cannabis. A search of his home revealed a small quanity of cannabis and four cannabis plants being grown in the garden.

Hatson had pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and production of a class B drug.

Defending, Charles Myatt said Hatson had not deliberately flouted the suspended sentence and had worked hard to comply with the conditions attached to it. He had also got a job and acted as an unofficial carer to an elderly man.

Mr Myatt said Hatson had managed to stop using all illicit substances except cannabis. He was determined to stop but it was harder than he expected.

Judge Peter Fenn told Hatson that taking into account all the circumstances, he would not activate the suspended sentence. Hatson was made the subject of a community order with a requirement to take part in a “Thinking Skills” programme and remain under Probation Service supervision for 12 months.