Man avoids jail over cannabis growing

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AN UNEMPLOYED Hemsworth man who was caught growing more than 40 cannabis plants in his home has escaped a jail sentence.

Dean Andrew Dickens, 41, of Willow Drive, was caught by police growing the class B drug at his home on December 12 last year.

Amanda Harris, prosecuting, said police visited the house and were overwhelmed by the strong smell of cannabis. They found 44 plants.

Dickens admitted growing the plants to officers and was arrested.

He pleaded guilty to producing the drugs at Pontefract Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Mitigating, Chris Morton, said that it was a significant number of plants, but that it was relatively small scale in comparison to other instances of cannabis production.

Mr Morton said: “The plants were cultivated for the defendant’s own use.

“He is a single man living alone. He suffers from ADHD and was only diagnosed as an adult. It effects him significantly.”

“Cannabis smoking is the only thing that gives him respite from the symptoms that have ruled his life.”

A report to assess Dickens for a suitable punishment stated the condition had not been medically diagnosed, and was based on what Dickens had read in self help books.

Sentencing him to a 12-month community order and 100-hours unpaid work, chairman of the magistrates John Fisher said the punishment was a direct alternative to custody.

He said: “Prison is always an option when you get to this stage.”

Dickens was also ordered to pay costs of £85.

All plants were ordered to be destroyed.