Rugby man jailed for growing cannabis at his house

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When the police raided Phillip Gardner’s house and found a number of cannabis plants, he told them they would not stop him and that he would just grow some more.

But he will not be doing so for a while – after a judge at Warwick Crown Court jailed him for 20 months.

Gardner, 39, of Dale Street, Rugby, had pleaded guilty at the court to producing cannabis and possessing the drug with intent to supply it.

Prosecutor Stefan Kolodynski said that in February police officers went to Gardener’s two-bedroom terraced home with a search warrant.

After numerous attempts to get him to answer the door, they forced entry and found him inside.

Annoyed, Gardner told them: “You don’t have to smash the door in. It’s not like I was going to get rid of the whole tent.”

And he went on to tell the officers: “At the end of the day, I’m 38 and I’ve been doing cannabis for 20 years. You’re not going to stop me; I’ll just grow some more.”

In the living room the police saw extraction ducting leading from one of the bedrooms where they found a large growing tent fitted with a sophisticated growing system.

In the tent were 25 non-flowering cannabis plants of an average height of three feet, which were estimated to have been about six weeks from full maturity.

An expert calculated that when mature the plants would have produced around 1.12 kilos of cannabis with a street value of £10 a gram, and the system was capable of producing three crops a year.

In that bedroom there were also bottles of plant food and plant pots containing dried cannabis leaf material.

In the bedroom where Gardner slept was a cannabis ‘nursery’ with a further nine small plants in pots.

And the police also discovered evidence of a previous crop when they checked the garden shed and found a bin liner containing 20 dried-up cannabis root balls, said Mr Kolodynski.

When he was interviewed Gardner said he had been growing cannabis for his own use for the previous six months because he could not afford to buy from local dealers.

John Brotherton, defending, explained that Gardner had borrowed £800 to cover his start-up costs, and was selling some of the cannabis to people he knew in an attempt to recoup his costs.

Jailing Gardner, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones said the offences were too serious for anything other than an immediate custodial sentence.