Man’s tiny plants ‘would have been worth £45k’

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A Rugby man has been jailed for 18 months after he was caught on his way to sell cannabis seedlings and growing equipment while he was already subject to a suspended sentence.

Tomasz Piestrzeniewicz, 29, of Gladstone Street, Rugby, had pleaded guilty at Nuneaton magistrates court to possessing cannabis with intent to supply it.

But the magistrates committed the case to Warwick Crown Court where he had been given a suspended prison sentence in November last year for allowing his home to be used for the production of cannabis.

Prosecutor Amy Jackson said that in March this year, while he was subject to that sentence, Piestrzeniewicz was stopped in his car by the police near the M6.

In the car the officers found 101 small cannabis plants, lighting equipment, compost, fertiliser and other equipment needed for cultivating them.

Piestrzeniewicz, who had £530 in cash on him, was arrested, and at his home the police found a small amount of cannabis bud.

Miss Jackson said that because the plants were just cuttings about four inches tall, it was difficult to say what the actual yield would have been. But based on the amount normally obtained from fully-grown plants, the potential yield if they had all reached maturity was 4.54 kilos worth up to £45,450 in £10 street deals.

Piestrzeniewicz told the police he was taking the seedlings and equipment to Stoke-on-Trent to sell to a friend to enable him to set up his own growing operation.

Piestrzeniewicz had been sentenced in November to nine months in prison suspended for two years.

That had been imposed after he pleaded guilty at the crown court to permitting his home to be used for the production of cannabis.

On that occasion the court heard that Piestrzeniewicz was not there when the police had raided the address in February last year and found a large number of cannabis plants growing in various rooms.

He later said he had bought a growing tent for £80 and had planted seven seeds which he put in the tent in his bedroom.

But he said he then went to Poland and asked someone to look after the plants for him – only to find on his return that the man had turned the whole house into a cannabis farm in his absence.

Miss Jackson added that when he was stopped by the police in March Piestrzeniewicz was also on police bail over a further allegation of producing cannabis.

Piestrzeniewicz, who was defending himself after sacking his solicitor, argued that the number of plants found in his car was “not very significant” - and he complained that the police had not spoken to the people who were living in the house, claiming the plants were not his and he had only pleaded guilty because his solicitor had told him it would be better if he did.

But Judge Marten Coates commented: “The evidence against him is absolutely overwhelming.”

He jailed Piestrzeniewicz for nine months for the new offence – consecutive to the nine-month suspended sentence which he was also ordered to serve.

Judge Coates told him: “You were playing a significant role by helping someone set up a growing operation.”