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Man caught growing £200k drugs crop escapes jail
12:00pm Monday 18th March 2013 in News
A HEREFORD father caught growing enough cannabis plants to produce almost £200,000 of the drug a year has escaped an immediate jail term.
Police searching a cellar below the kitchen of Glyn Hodges’ Burghill home last summer found 50 mature plants, 78 younger saplings and eight ‘mother’ plants, Hereford Crown Court heard on Tuesday.
Prosecutor Jackie Rogers said the younger plants had the potential to yield a maximum of £173,000, while the mature plants had a maximum value of £22,500.
The 52-year-old was also found to have illegally abstracted electricity to help the growth of the plants.
Ms Rogers said officers operating under a drugs warrant found a trap door at the home leading to the cellar.
Hodges returned home during the search on August 2 and told police he sold the drugs to individuals but did not name names. He later admitted one charge of producting cannabis and another of extracting electricity.
Michael Aspinall, defending, said the case was unusual because it didn’t involve anyone else.
“This was something of an ad-hoc business,” he said.
“He explained to police exactly what he had done.
“There is no suggestion this man lived a high life.
"There is no yacht; no villa in Spain. He did it with intentions that were good.”
He said Hodges had “suffered considerably” in recent years due to numerous factors.
The court heard he was made redundant in 2009 before his father, as well as a lodger of his, both died.
He had also suffered other family issues as well as being “desperate” for money.
The court heard he would only sell to people he knew and who were the same age as him.
Judge Richard Rundell accepted there was a “degree of remorse”.
He handed Hodges a twoyear prison term for the cannabis, suspended for two years.
He will also carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work and be subject to a supervision requirement.
For the offence of stealing the electricity, he was given six months in prison, suspended for two years and to run concurrently with the cannabis sentence.