Burnley cannabis cultivator spared jail

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An ex-heroin addict who grew cannabis to self-medicate while he awaits a liver transplant, was spared immediate jail.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Troy Fuller (43) who is on disability living allowance, was cultivating 21 plants at his home in Burnley. Fuller, said to have a catalogue of medical problems, was found out after police raided his home, last May.

The hearing was told although six of the plants were sent for forensic examination, no indication of yield or potential street value of the farm had been given.

The defendant, of Ada Street, admitted producing cannabis, between April and May, last year. He was given four months in jail, suspended for 18 months, with a six-week curfew, between 9pm and 6am.

The court was told at about 7-55pm, last May 5th, police executed a search warrant and Fuller was seen to throw a box out of a bedroom window. It was seized and the defendant said it was his. All who were present were arrested. The plants were taken away, 15 were destroyed quite quickly and six were sent for analysis. The defendant was interviewed and said he was growing the drugs as medication, as he had hepatitis C.

Mr Tim Brennand (defending) said there was no evidence he was motivated for commercial enrichment.

It was his first attempt at growing cannabis and he had been doing it for six weeks. The defendant had a catalogue of medical problems and the prognosis was not good. He had been awaiting a liver transplant for eight years. Fuller had been keeping out of trouble.

The barrister said: “He was simply replacing one addiction with another. He is ashamed he has relapsed and he is motivated to stick to the straight and narrow.”

Sentencing, Judge Jonathan Gibson told the defendant: “I accept you weren’t involved in commercial supply or cultivation of cannabis and I accept you were self medicating with it.”