|Spend those government checks wisely.|
A jailed marijuana grower in the United Kingdom was given a government “crisis” loan after his release from jail — which he then used to set up another pot farm.
Stephen Duxbury was jailed for six months for running an earlier cannabis grow operation. He completed his time in October 2008. But on March 31 this year, police raided the house he was renting (the reason for the search is unclear).
A search revealed 123 marijuana plants in various locations around the home. The plants were being grown using a hydroponic system and illegally diverted electricity, according to the Telegraph.
Duxbury’s lawyer (or “barrister,” as they are termed in the U.K.), Tom Watson, went for the sympathy approach. He said his client had a “heavy cannabis habit” and “no structure to his life.”
Watson described the defendant as “a lonely individual who gets himself a personality — the guy who runs a cannabis farm.”
“He was on benefits and got a crisis loan which he used to set up this illegal enterprise,” Watson admitted.
Setting up the grow operation had involved punching holes in the ceiling and walls. The property owner estimated repairs, replacing carpets, replacing the electric meter and eradicating the smell would cost up to £5,000, according to prosecutor Joanne Maxwell.
The judge, Recorder Roderick Carus, told Duxbury the six-month sentence he served last year should have given him time to reflect and wean himself off drugs. “It was an opportunity to come off drugs and you spurned it,” the judge said.
Duxbury is repaying the government crisis loan via deductions from his benefits. He pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and criminal damage.
Judge Carus put Duxbury back behind bars for an additional 15 months of imprisonment, evidently for a longer chance at “reflection and weaning.”