A DOPEY dope grower tipped police off to a cannabis farm in his home – when they heard him tell someone to clear it out. Mark Turnbull was arrested on July 13 when he was found in a property in College Road, Hebburn, which had a stash of cannabis plants inside. And while the 38-year-old was in custody, police heard him calling a friend and asking them to empty his own house before police searched it. When officers turned up at his address, in Cambridge Avenue, also Hebburn, they found 30 plants of ‘skunk’ – thought to be the strongest form of the Class B drug.
Turnbull pleaded guilty to producing the drug at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court and when magistrates heard he used it to ease back pain he was told “don’t be an idiot”. Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said: “Police went to his house where they smelled cannabis immediately on entering. “They found some plants in a small garden shed and found more in the loft. In total there was about 30 plants and equipment for growing them.” Mr Anderson added that forensic officers estimated that if the plants were all to be productive, the street value would be between £3,000 and £5,500. He said: “Turnbull said it was all for his own use and indeed there is no suggestion that he was going to sell any of it.”
Laura Johnson, defending, said: “He fully accepts he’s the person responsible for growing the plants, without any great knowledge of how to do it. “He says only three were flowering and were ever likely to flower and the likely worth was closer to £500. “The drugs were being used to self-medicate. He has had severe back pain for a number of years and uses it to ease that. “He also went through a very messy divorce and has obsessive compulsive disorder and finds cannabis helps him relax.” Chairman of the bench Lorraine Montgomerie said: “You could go to prison for this because there is sophistication behind the production of the drugs.
“And it was skunk, the most dangerous type of cannabis, which can lead to psychosis. Stick to pain killers if you have a bad back. Don’t be an idiot.” The case was adjourned until Wednesday (OCT 26), for the probation service to prepare a report about Turnbull.
via : The Shields Gazette
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