Derbyshire man grew cannabis upstairs in poorly OAP's home

A Derbyshire man took advantage of an elderly friend with health problems when he grew cannabis on the first floor of his home, a court has heard.

Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 3:00 pm

Police were called to the 72-year-old man's home in Cresswell, on February 18, last year, after his daughter became concerned, prosecutor Sarah Allen said.

Officers discovered 15 immature plants under four lights, with plastic sheeting, fans and fertiiser, in an upstairs room, which the occupant couldn’t reach because of his mobility issues.

Fully-grown, the plants could have yielded between 420 and 1,260 grams of cannabis, worth between £2,700 and £11,250, if sold in one ounce deals.

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Pfficers found a £1,350 receipt for the growing equipment, and the key to the 72-year-old's door, when they searched Bland's nearby home.

Ms Allen said Bland, who knew the man “since they worked together years ago,” moved into the property in 2017, after the occupant became unwell, and this is when the drug production began.

Gurdial Singh, mitigating, said there was no evidence that Bland moved in, but Judge Robert Egbuna said witness statements referred to Bland entering house while the older man was in hospital.

Ms Allen said: “He seemed to be buying him alcohol. It is accepted that his health has deteriorated.”

On Thursday, Derby Crown Court heard that Bland has 15 previous convictions between 2005 and 2017, including dishonesty and drivings matters.

The 58-year-old, of Model Village, Cresswell, pleaded guity to producing cannabis, on May 12, after initially denying the charge in January.

Judge Egbuna described the age and the frailty of the man as "significantly aggravating features", and sentenced Bland to nine months in prison, but suspended it for two years because of the age of the case.

He told him: "Notwithstanding your assistance and friendship, he was someone who was clearly frail and he suffered because of alcohol. There can be no doubt you took advantage of that."

He warned Bland that any breaches of the order with an offence of dishonesty would be reserved to him and if he saw him back in court, he would activate the sentence.

An order calling for the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs and associated paraphernalia was also made.