A FORMER heroin addict has told a court he grows his own cannabis to avoid having to deal with drug dealers.
James Peart pleaded guilty to one count of possessing 15 cannabis plants and a quantity of dried cannabis at his home in Howe Road, Gosport.
Police found the class B drugs – 10 plants in the airing cupboard, and a further five growing under heating lamps – when they were executing a drugs warrant on August 29 at the 33-year-old’s home.
Fareham Magistrates’ Court heard how Peart had been caught for exactly the same offence back in February, when police found 13 plants in his home.
Prosecutor Alex Dabson said: ‘During his interview, he said he would rather grow his own than having to go out and deal with dealers.
‘He was able to produce the plants as he said he had followed instruction from an online video and grown the plants from seeds.’
Sally Martin, defending, said: ‘This was grown entirely for his own use, and this is entirely accepted by the police.
‘Heroin was a problem in the past, but it’s not a problem now.
‘He’s not going out and stealing to fund a drug habit.
‘The first warrant was executed because they knew he was growing cannabis, and they’ve come back a few months later because they know he’s still growing cannabis.
‘And he knows the police will be back again and again.
‘I don’t believe he will give up smoking cannabis, so he will have to be going out on the street and buying it.’
The court also heard how Peart lives with his partner and their five children aged 16, 13, 11, two and the youngest just nine weeks old.
But Mrs Martin added: ‘He keeps the plants locked in the airing cupboard and his weed is locked in a safe.’
Peart is currently unemployed but is hoping to start work soon with a window cleaning company, the court heard.
Peart also admitted breaching the conditional discharge for the earlier offence and was fined £65 plus a £15 victim’s surcharge. This was added to £175 of outstanding fines.
He was also given a 12 month community order with a 120 hour unpaid work requirement.
The plants and dried cannabis were all ordered to be taken and destroyed.