Grew cannabis in loft after threats to family over £1,500 debt

NEWS from Nottingham Magistrates' Court.
NEWS from Nottingham Magistrates' Court.

Threats to his family over an outstanding debt tempted a Newthorpe man to grow cannabis plants in the loft.

Jamie Ferguson, 43, of Kirby Road, grew the plants to help pay off £1,500 that he owed, Nottingham Magistrates’ Court was told.

But the police got wind of his operation and raided the home where he was living at the time in Broxtowe, Nottingham.

“A total of ten plants were found in the loft of the house,” said David Miles, prosecuting. “The police expected that they would yield between 24 grams and 84 grams per plant.

“The electricity wasn’t bypassed, but It was quite a sophisticated grow, with lights connected to a timer, and an extractor fan.

“When interviewed by the police, he said he had a debt and his family had been threatened.”

Nigel Dicks, defending, told the court that although Ferguson had three discs inserted in his back, he was now well enough to return to work and was due to start a new job later this month.

It was feared that he might be sent to prison, but he was living with his father, who could be taken ill at any time and the defendant would have to go to hospital with him.

Deputy District Judge David Noble did impose a jail sentence of eight weeks, but he suspended it for 12 months.

He told Ferguson: “You are too old to be getting involved in this kind of thing. This is a serious offence.”

Ferguson was also subjected to a curfew, complete with electronic tag, between 9 pm and 6 am for eight weeks.

He was ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £80. The district judge also ordered the forfeiture of the cannabis plants and the destruction of the equipment.