Strange “red fluid” leads police to New Whittington weed lover’s 30-plant grow
A New Whittington man was caught with 30 cannabis plants with a street value of £22,000 after neighbours reported a “red fluid” outside his flat, a court heard.
Weed lover Dean Crabtree’s solicitor told magistrates he would smoke the 10 mature plants within three months - while waiting for the other 20 to be fully grown.
Chesterfield Magistrates Court heard how in August last year police found the plants along with cabling and hydroponics after breaking into 52-year-old Crabtree’s Field Court flat.
The drugs bust came after fellow residents had alerted them to a “red fluid” outside his flat.
Prosecutor Stella Moses told the court that - had the other 20 plants reached maturity - the crop would have produced between 28 and 88 ounces of the drug.
Crabtree’s solicitor, Karl Meakin, said his client was “no spring chicken”, adding: “Mr Crabtree is a maturing man - he doesn’t want to go out and buy cannabis from street dealers with the associated pitfalls.
“This is a matter where the cannabis has been grown in Mr Crabtree’s flat by Mr Crabtree for Mr Crabtree’s use - there’s no suggestion of supply.”
The solicitor described how only ten of Crabtree’s plants were close to “maturation” while the smaller plants were at the beginning of the grow.
He said: “By the time the plants are mature enough the first grow of 10 plants will have been smoked by Mr Crabtree.
“It’s the case that the plants were all for personal use - 10 plants would be enough cannabis to smoke for roughly three months.”
Mr Meakin told the court it had been over a decade since Crabtree’s last conviction - similarly for cannabis production.
Unemployed window cleaner Crabtree, of Field Court, admitted producing cannabis.
A magistrate said: “There were a number of plants involved and you have a previous conviction for exactly this offence in the past as well.”
He was jailed for eight weeks suspended for 12 months, given 60 hours unpaid work, victim surcharge of £128 and court costs of £85.
Magistrates also ordered the destruction of Crabtree’s cannabis grow and equipment.