Basildon man grew cannabis for headaches

A MAN who grew more than 130 cannabis plants to try to combat his intense headaches has been jailed.  Peter Fletcher, 39, of Lincoln Road, Basildon, suffers the neurological condition known as “cluster” or “suicide” headaches.  He set up an unsophisticated cannabis operation at a rural three-bedroomed detached house in Gosfield, near Braintree, where he cultivated 136 plants.  Gary Ryan, mitigating, said Fletcher suffered from a brain condition and has been a cannabis user since he was 13 years old.

He said: “They are commonly known as cluster or suicide headaches because of the intensity of pain that goes with the condition.  “There is some evidence to suggest various self-help forums suggest cannabis alleviates the pain.”  Fletcher, who has been certified unfit for work, is in debt and receiving benefits, pleaded guilty to the charge of producing cannabis.  His friend, David Benson, 41, of Stanton Park, Swindon, Wiltshire, was a tenant at the property and had allowed it to be used for growing the plants.  He was in court charged with permitting cannabis production on the premises and with possession of 11.4 grammes of cannabis resin.

Sean Minihan, mitigating for Benson, told Judge David Turner QC: “He is a long-term friend of Mr Fletcher and is well aware of his difficulties. He has witnessed his headaches and that’s why he accepted and allowed him to use the premises.”  Sentencing, Judge David Turner QC told Chelmsford Crown Court: “This was a significant production operation. You, Mr Fletcher, knew what the consequences would be.  “I accept you were doing this for your own use, you were producing this to self medicate and were not involved in making a profit or supplying to others.  “Mr Benson, you were foolish enough to help out a friend.”  Fletcher was jailed for six months, but was told he will serve half that. Benson, who also pleaded guilty, was sentenced to three months, suspended for two years. He was given a curfew and ordered to pay £400 costs.

via : Brentwood Weekly News

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