A 61-YEAR-OLD man who set up a cannabis growing operation in his own home had told his solicitor: “I’m getting too old for this.”
Police were alerted because of the strong smell of cannabis coming from the home of David Alan Lee in Holywell.
They obtained a search warrant and found a false wall in a bedroom with a sophisticated growing operation behind it.
There were two large plants, 17 smaller plants and 24 seedlings in a tray.
Lee, of Llys y Brenin, Holywell, admitted producing cannabis on April 5 and possessing amphetamine.
He said that he grew his own cannabis because he could not afford to buy it.
It was all for his own use, he said.
At Flintshire Magistrates Court he received a 150-day prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and he was placed on supervision.
He was sent on a low level drug rehabilitation course and must observe an eight-week tagged curfew between 6pm and 6am.
District Judge Gwyn Jones ordered him to pay £165 costs and ordered that the drugs and paraphernalia seized should be destroyed.
Mr Jones said that the offence did cross the custody threshold, but his immediate guilty plea allowed him to draw back from a custodial sentence.
Matthew Ellis, prosecuting, said that as well as a strong smell of cannabis coming from Lee’s address, a cannabis plant had been seen in a window.
Police executed a search warrant and found that behind the false wall was a sophisticated growing area with water and lights. An extraction fan went through the ceiling into the attic.
Lee’s mobile phone had been seized and examined but nothing of significance was found.
He had been charged with production only.
Lee told how he was a recovering alcoholic who had been clear of drink for many years but had substituted alcohol with cannabis. He became addicted to the drug and was using five grammes a day.
Interviewed, he said he could not afford to buy it so he grew it for his own use and read about how to do it in a book.
It turned out that he had a previous conviction for producing cannabis.
Phillip Lloyd Jones, defending, said that his client had told him he was ‘getting too old for it’.
He had health worries, he said, and added: “This is not doing him any good at all.”
Lee had now abstained from cannabis and his health had improved.