A FATHER-of-four who was found growing thousands of pounds worth of cannabis has avoided jail after a court decided it was for his personal use.
Harry Butler, who lives at Smite Caravan Site, was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work instead after officers executed a warrant on three plots at the site last November.
They found 20 mature plants of the Class B drug, along with the items used to grow it, belonging to the 37-year-old.
Last Friday (February 28) Worcester Magistrates Court heard each plant contained 30 grams and had a street value of about £6,000, making a potential yearly total of £18,000.
Ann Matthews, defending solicitor, said: “He had never tried growing it before, he was in the habit of buying and using it more at that time because he had split up with his partner and was rather upset.
“Other friends on the site grew some so he had a go at it. One of the other guys who was raided by police had 30 plants and only received a caution and another had ten plants and received a caution, so it made my client feel singled out.”
District Judge Nigel Cadbury said: “I bear in mind the circumstances and prepare to accept you were growing this for your own use although there were a fairly substantial number of plants.”
Butler was also told to pay court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £60. The drugs were forfeited and destroyed.