Man grew cannabis because of kidney problems
A MAN who rented a house in Morriston under a false name and turned it into a drugs factory has avoided an immediate prison sentence because of his ill health.
Michael Roberts grew cannabis which had a wholesale value of up to £4,500, prosecutor Ned Gill told Merthyr Crown Court.
Roberts said he had grown the drugs because he used it as a painkiller to help deal with his health problems.
Judge Paul Thomas said he would give Roberts a suspended sentence.
“There is one reason, and one reason alone and that’s because of your state of health,” said the judge.
But the judge told him his cannabis use would have to stop. “If you are in possession of even a small reefer of cannabis, it will put you in breach of that suspended sentence. You can then be brought back and a prison sentence will follow, irrespective of your health. Your condition can be monitored in a prison setting if it needs to be.
“Whatever pain relief you may get from cannabis, you must stop any involvement in it now, otherwise you will be in breach,” said the judge.
Mr Gill told the court police searched an address at Nixon Terrace in Morriston on January 28.
As they went inside they found a rear bedroom had been converted into a drugs factory with halogen lamps, ventilation and he had also bypassed the electricity system.
Forensics officers went to the house and found DNA evidence which linked Roberts to the house.
He was arrested on March 6 and said he had bypassed the electricity meter when he had moved into the property in December.
He told police he had taken the property in a false name and said he had been growing the drugs for his own use.
Roberts, aged 34, of Long View Road in Clase, had been growing the drugs to help ease his pain from a number of medical problems, including kidney issues.
He admitted a single charge of producing cannabis, a class B drug.
“He has maintained throughout that these drugs were for personal use,” said Giles Hayes, his solicitor.
Mr Hayes had asked for his client to receive a community order rather than an immediate term of imprisonment.
“There are certain issues that could be addressed through a community penalty. The option of a community order with supervision and a curfew may be an appropriate sentence,” said Mr Hayes.
The judge imposed a six month sentence but agreed to suspend it for 12 months.