A marijuana consumer from Derbyshire, who police caught cultivating in a house shared with his partner and her two children, recently learnt from the justice system that what he did “could be classed as abuse.” According to Martin Lewis, the suspect, he purchased all the equipment that he required to set up his grow space at a car boot sale.
Inside one of the rooms in the residence he was sharing with his partner and her kids, he set up a five-foot by eight-foot grow tent. State prosecutor for the Southern Derbyshire Magistrates Court, Peter Bettany, said that when officers searched the house, they found “mature and immature” marijuana plants growing inside the foil-lined grow tent, and that Lewis had “all of the equipment” required to grow pot plants.
According to Bettany, Lewis had a lighting rig set up, as well as ducts to move the smell of his plants from the premises, compost, and even buckets full of water. During the raid, officers also found evidence that Lewis had been cultivating for some time already, that the plants seized were not his first attempt at growing. There was no proof, however, that Lewis was selling pot or making money from it.
While sentencing Lewis to a 12-month community order, District Judge Jonathan Taaffe said, “You attempted to justify your actions by saying you bought the equipment at a car boot sale. Well, I do not buy that. You planned this.” Taaffe also told Lewis, “What aggravates your offense was that there were young children at this house. The stench of the cannabis was sufficient for police to get reports of it from outside your property.”
The judge continued his bashing of Lewis, “Your children, or the children in the property, have been subjected to the fumes and the smell of cannabis on a daily basis. It is selfish and could be classed as abuse in some aspects.” After a concerned citizen tipped off the police, claiming that Lewis was growing cannabis inside, Bettany said that officers raided the house in Lincoln Way, Midway, in Swadlincote.
He said that on June 27, “They got inside and could smell cannabis for themselves. They found a five-foot by eight-foot tent that housed 14 mature plants and 2 immature plants.” Bettany continued, “There was also a 600-watt lighting rig, a carbon filter to remove the smell of the cannabis, and water in large barrels.” That was not all they found, however.
“Under the bed they found a tin, which contained plant stalks showing evidence of previous cultivation. There were a number of unused plant pots, compost, and more lighting.” Officers arrested Lewis, who told them that he acquired the equipment at a car boot sale. He admitted consuming pot and explained that he was cultivating for his own private use.
Lewis confessed to smoking between an eighth of an ounce and a quarter of an ounce every day, and according to police estimations on the quantity seized in the raid, he had enough to supply his demand for at least a year, more likely much longer. Attorney Emma Leivers, speaking for Lewis, said that he was using pot to overcome his history of heroin abuse.
She described him as “someone who had reduced his use of heroin, but had unfortunately substituted that with using cannabis instead.” Leivers also told those present that, “He is very disappointed with himself for the strain he is putting his partner and her children under.”
Lewis pleaded guilty to his involvement in the production of marijuana, and along with the community order, Bettany also fined him $50 and ordered him to pay $85 in administration costs, and another $85 victim surcharge. Lewis will not be growing marijuana again for a long time in the future, hopefully ever.