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Suspended Jail Term For Cannabis Grower

This is Kent and East Sussex, 20th May 2006

A Father of three who admitted growing cannabis in his loft has been spared an immediate jail sentence.

Adrian Jones, 41, was arrested in March after officers searched his Copthorne home and found 116 plants.

Hove Crown Court heard how the ex-Army man had begun smoking cannabis to ease the pain from a knee injury but then became hooked on the drug.

Married man Jones, of Borers Arms Road, wept in the dock as the judge imposed a six-month jail sentence but suspended it for two years.

Anne Toynbee, prosecuting, told the court that police went to Jones' house on March 6 to speak to his stepson about an unrelated matter.

After smelling cannabis the officers searched the house and found equipment used to grow the plants, including a lamp and plant nutrients.

Mrs Toynbee said: "In the loft they saw that a section had been curtained off. They found a bright light and a fan.

"The loft had a silver lining and 116 plants were found growing in pots. When questioned Mr Jones said that he smoked 10 joints every evening but nobody else knew what was in the loft."

Andrew Selby, defending Jones, who worked for a catering hire firm, said: "By his own admission he has been foolish and stupid and he deeply regrets what he has done.

"He found the experience humiliating for himself and his family, and he has taken positive steps to quit his habit."

Passing sentence, Judge Austin Izzard-Davies, told Jones: "The penalty for cultivating cannabis on any scale must be a sentence of imprisonment. In my view the proper sentence is six months.

"You have set an appalling example to your children but I accept you are doing your best to conquer this problem.

"I also take into account the fact you have succeeded in your work and in other areas of parenting, which is commendable."

Jones, who admitted producing a controlled drug, was also made the subject of a 12-month supervision order and told to pay £400 prosecution costs.

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