Daily scourge of drug cases in South Yorkshire

Judge Michael Murphy QC., pictured at Sheffield Crown Court.
Judge Michael Murphy QC., pictured at Sheffield Crown Court.
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South Yorkshire’s courthouses are dealing with criminals who have grown their own cannabis on a daily basis, according to a leading legal figure.

Judge Michael Murphy QC voiced concern over the ‘enormous frequency’ of cases involving cultivation of the class B drugs which are being brought before him.

He urged the public to think twice before using drug production as a quick-fix money maker as he dished out the latest prison sentence for the offence at Sheffield Crown Court.

Judge Murphy QC said: “This court is seeing people day in day out who have decided to produce cannabis. It is happening in enormous frequency in the suburbs of this city and South Yorkshire.

“The courts say that those caught must have an immediate prison sentence, so anyone doing this because of family or debt issues is making it worse.

“That is what we have been trying to say but it is not getting home to people.”

Reformed heroin addict John Molyneux, aged 47, of Wombell, Barnsley was jailed for one year after pleading guilty to cultivating cannabis in his home earlier this year.

The court heard how the defendant had begun growing the drug in the house where his partner and step-children live in a bid to clear mounting debts.

Richard Barradell, defending, said: “Growing cannabis offered an easy solution to pay debts off.

“This was not done out of greed, he was already smoking cannabis so he was producing the drug he was using.

“His partner suffers from a degenerative bone disorder and his 10-year-old stepson has the same.

“He knows they will suffer the burden while he is in prison.”

Judge Murphy QC added: “Drug production is a criminal offence. Cannabis sells and puts drugs which cause harm to people on to the market.”