A merchant seaman who suffered a serious hand injury while hauling in an anchor grew cannabis to help cope with the pain.

Stuart Dooley was caught growing the drug in three different rooms of a house he rented in Brixham after police were called to a minor disturbance at the address.

The 25 plants had a potential yield with a street value of £21,000 but Dooley was tending them for other people and was going to be paid in cannabis rather than money.

Dooley, aged 34, formerly of Ranscombe Road, Brixham, but now living in Torquay, admitted production of cannabis and was jailed for six months, suspended for a year and curfewed for two months by Judge Erik Salomonsen at Exeter Crown Court.

The judge told him he accepted his explanation and was cutting the length of the curfew to enable him to have rehabilitative treatment on his injured hand in January.

He warned him he would risk going to prison if he carried on using cannabis.

Miss Caroline Bolt, prosecuting, said police found the drugs in two bedrooms and a loft on September 3, 2015 after being called to a minor disturbance at the rented house.

There was a hydroponic system with lights and fans and a total of 25 plants, most nearing maturity, which had a potential yield of 0.7 to 2.1 kilograms and street value between £5,000 and £21,000.

A probation report said Dooley was tending the plants for others and was paid in cannabis, which he used to treat chronic pain from a hand injury he suffered from an accident involving an anchor while he was in the Merchant Navy in 2014.

He is being treated for the injury and suspected PTSD and is due to attend a residential rehabilitation course in January.

Mr Barry White, defending, said Tooley has suffered threats from those who were growing the cannabis and has been forced to move out of Brixham.



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