Man caught growing cannabis

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A STOWMARKET man was caught growing cannabis which he planned to make into marijuana-flavoured butter and fudge, a court heard.

Police officers responding to a suspected burglary at a house in Whatfield Road on March 30 found the door ajar and a strong smell of cannabis coming from inside.

Ipswich Crown Court heard on Friday how cannabis plants were found in various stages of cultivation in two bedrooms and the bathroom.

Rodney Debenham, 43, was arrested when he arrived at the house a short time later and admitted he was the occupant.

Prosecutor Jonathan Chibafa said analysis of the cannabis showed that it would have yielded enough of the drug to raise an estimated £4,200 at street prices. Also found inside the house were trays of dried cannabis leaves and hydroponic cultivation equipment.

Debenham, now of Jubilee Avenue, Stowmarket, had pleaded guilty to an offence of producing a class B drug.

Laura Giachardi, defending, said Debenham had been given the growing equipment by a friend who no longer needed it. He disputed prosecution claims that the drug was being grown only a commercial basis. Debenham, who runs a shop in the town, planned to produced marijuana-flavoured butter and fudge to sell to friends.

Ms Giachardi said: “In part he was motivated not purely by commercial motivation but because of his desire to use cannabis himself as opposed to alcohol,”

Sentencing Debenham, Judge John Holt told him: “You run a shop and I have no doubt that some of this cannabis would be sold through this shop.”

Judge Holt sentenced Debenham to 12 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years. He will be under supervision for one year and must take part in a scheme to tackle alcohol problems.