Gardener grew own cannabis

A LANDSCAPE gardener who turned his hand to growing cannabis was netted during a police raid on his Clowne home.

Officers with a search warrant went to Craig Parkinson’s John Street address on 30th April and noticed a strong smell of cannabis.

They seized nine plants growing under sodium lamps in an outbuilding, Chesterfield magistrates were told. Six plants had flowering tops and the crop had a potential value of £1,600 to £5,0000 if sold in street deals.

“He said he smoked cannabis every day and decided last Christmas to grow his own instead of buying it,” said Jenny Fitzgerald, prosecuting.

“He bought a bag of seeds for £40 and watered the plants every day.”

Parkinson, 40, said he earned good money as a gardener and had been spending £100 a week on cannabis.

“He was growing the plants for his own use. As a landscape gardener he was quite knowledgable about growing plants,” said Joe Harvey, defending.

“Cannabis was expensive to buy and he thought he would try and grow some himself. This was his first crop and he got no benefit out of it.”

“His wife wasn’t aware of what he was doing so he has had to explain matters and he has spent the last fortnight in the spare bedroom. He knows he has acted stupidly.”

Parkinson admitted producing nine cannabis plants between 1st January and 30th April and possessing £20 worth of the drug.

District Judge Andrew Davison fined him £315, with £85 costs, and ordered the plants and drugs be destroyed.