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Shard End Drug Dealer Who Grew Cannabis in His Airing Cupboard is Spared Jail


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A DRUG dealer who grew cannabis in his airing cupboard wept as a judge decided not to send him to jail.

Paul Stocks, 26, of Turnley Road, Shard End, cried with relief as he was instead handed a 12-month suspended sentence after admitting producing cannabis and possessing it with intent to supply.

John Bartlett, prosecuting, told Warwick Crown Court that Stocks was rumbled when police who pulled over a van he was driving noticed a strong smell of cannabis. He was arrested when they found a stash of herbal cannabis in his sock and £1,081 in cash.

And Mr Bartlett said a search of his home revealed three cannabis plants in his airing cupboard, which had been fitted out with a hydroponic system and a growing light.

Elsewhere they found three bags of cannabis, a set of scales, a cannabis grinder and another £840 in cash.

Mr Bartlett said: "It is low-level production, but it was commercial in that it was being sold.

"He said he had been involved in production for 25 weeks. This was his third crop and he expected to earn £1,600 from each crop.

"He confirmed he sold the cannabis to friends, and accepted he knew those friends would sell it on themselves."

Lee Masters, defending, said Stocks had worked all his life and had built up a business as a sub-contractor.

But one of his main employers went bankrupt, and as a result his own business went bust owing cash to the Inland Revenue and to suppliers.

Judge Robert Orme ordered the cash seized from Stocks to be confiscated and also ordered him to perform 100 hours of unpaid work and to pay £600 costs.

"I don't doubt for one moment you have worked very hard in your life and these offences came about because you got into financial difficulties," the judge said.

"What you should expect is a prison sentence. But you have never been in trouble before, and you are pretty ashamed of what you have done.

"You are going to have to tread very carefully. This will be your one and only chance."

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Source: Birmingham Mail
Contact: Birmingham Mail
Copyright: Trinity Mirror Midlands Limited 2009
Website: Shard End drug dealer who grew cannabis in his airing cupboard is spared jail
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