Smell gave away Bodmin gardener's cannabis operation
POLICE were alerted to a cannabis growing operation after reports of a strong smell coming out of a Bodmin house, a court has heard.
Former landscape gardener Stephen Smith was found to be growing up to 90 marijuana plants with a potential yield of £8,700, when officers raided his house on January 21, following the tip off.
The 50-year-old, of Western Terrace, pleaded guilty to producing the drug as well as possessing it with the intent to supply to another when he appeared at Truro Crown Court on Tuesday.
He also admitted charges of dishonestly abstracting electricity, and possession of cocaine and amphetamine.
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Phillip Lee, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “It seems there had been rather a strong smell emanating from Western Terrace, Bodmin.”
Mr Lee said that officers found at least three rooms turned over to the production of cannabis in the property in what he described as a relatively sophisticated operation including heating and lights.
When interviewed by police, Stephens admitted that he had been growing the class B drug.Mr Lee said: “He told the police that he had begun to grow the cannabis in August of 2012.
“He had lost his job in June of that year. A male that he knew had suggested to Mr Smith that if he were to allow his house for the growing of cannabis he could have his rent paid.”
Stephens refused to identify the other male, the court heard.
Sentencing Stephens to an eight prison term suspended for 12 months, Judge Christopher Harvey Clark, QC, said that despite Stephens having been in and out of jail in his youth he had effectively kept out of trouble for the last 20 years.
He said: “At your age you should have known better.”
Judge Clark ordered that the plants, drugs and paraphernalia found in the raid on Stephens house should be forfeited and destroyed.
He also ordered that Stephens carry out 120 hours unpaid work and pay a £100 victim surcharge.