Pregnant pot grower was too large for ‘little drug factory’


A heavily pregnant cannabis grower grew too big to fit through the hatch to her “little drug factory”, a court heard.

Mum-of-four Deanne Matthews, 32, planned to sell the cannabis she grew in the loft of her South Elmsall home to raise funds for a “good Christmas” for her young children.

After the expectant mum became too wide, she sent her thinner partner, Daniel Levi Burton, through the gap to tend to the cannabis plants.

Police raided their house on Doncaster Road on September 6. They found seven cannabis plants in the loft space with an estimated yield of £2,700.

Prosecutor Diane Gomersall said Burton, 25, was subject to a Crown Court imposed suspended sentence at the time of the offence. He later told police Matthews asked him to look after her plants after she could no longer access them.

Magistrates committed Burton’s case to Leeds Crown Court for sentence on March 27.

But they decided to deal with Matthews case.

Chris Morton, mitigating, said she was of previous good character.

Magistrate Hazel Chowcat, passing sentence, said the drugs trade was a “dodgy and dangerous market” and not something people should engage in lightly “just to pay for Christmas presents for their children”.

Dr Chowcat added: “There you are, setting up a little drug factory in your house for people who will no doubt be damaged by the drugs you were prepared to sell them.”

The magistrate talked about the drug’s impact on users and their mental health. She said: “You had no compunction whatsoever to grow them to make a lot out of other people’s misery.”

She said the children’s presence in the house was an aggravating factor and they shouldn’t have been exposed to it. Matthews was sentenced to a six-week curfew order from 7pm to 7am daily. She must also pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.