Drug grower is spared jail

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A MAN whose life was ‘shattered’ after the death of his wife 17 years ago has escaped a jail term after he admitted growing nearly £2,000 worth of cannabis at his South Yorkshire home.

Richard Knighton, aged 45, started smoking cannabis to combat the depression he suffered after his wife died, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Martin said police went to his flat in Oak Court, Mapplewell, Barnsley, on August 3 last year after smelling cannabis.

They found six cannabis plants and a ‘rudimentary’ watering system.

Miss Martin said the plants would have yielded around 13 grammes of cannabis with a street value of up to £1,920.

Knighton told police since the death of his wife in the mid-80s he had suffered from depression and the drugs were for self medication.

Robert Sandford, defending, said “He has been suffering from a chronic depressive state.

“His medication has been changed and it has had a positive effect and helped him abstain from cannabis.”

Judge Alan Goldsack QC jailed Knighton for 26 weeks suspended for two years and ordered him to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £800 costs.

He said: “You suffered the tragedy of losing your wife 17 years ago and that shattered your life.”