Police raid stopped drug harvest

COURT: Court Case
COURT: Court Case

AN offender who was caught with nearly £11,000 worth of cannabis plants has told how he was producing drugs to pay off debts.

Derby Crown Court heard this month how Peter Riggett, 36, of Wenlock Walk, Grassmoor, Chesterfield, owed £2,000 but his 16 plants could have raised up to £10,800 if the drug had been sold on the streets.

Gareth Gimson, prosecuting, said the plants were eight weeks from harvest when they were found by police after a raid and could have yielded £10,800 in profits from small deals.

Judge Hilary Watson accepted Riggett was not a cannabis user but told him: “You wanted to raise money to clear your debts. It was intended as a commercial enterprise, a small scale domestic operation in your spare bedroom. The 16 cuttings did well.”

Mrs Annette Thomas, defending, said Riggett mistakenly thought the bedroom tax was covered in a rent increase and he also owed money to doorstep lenders and was in council tax arrears.

But Judge Watson pointed out Riggett had now got help to deal with his debts over council and bedroom tax as well as money owed to doorstep lenders.

Mrs Thomas added: “This action has resulted in him getting the door lenders to reduce rates weekly. He has spoken to the council over the rent arrears. He has a payment plan for repaying bedroom tax and is in front with utility bills,”

Riggett, who used a crutch to get into court and might need surgery for spinal problems, told police he intended to sell the cannabis to people he knew used the drug.

The 36 year-old admitted producing the class B drug plants after the raid in May 25. He was given six-months’ custody suspended for a year and a four month curfew.