Gosport man left cannabis on show

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POLICE discovered a man’s cannabis plants after he left two of them on a windowsill in full view of the street.

The officers found eight plants, all between 3ft and 4ft tall, at Darren Ellis’s home in Magennis Close, Gosport.

Prosecutor Tammy Mears told Portsmouth Crown Court police were on a routine patrol when they made the discovery.

She said: ‘They happened to look up towards Mr Ellis’s home address and saw what they believed to be two cannabis plants on the window ledge of the bathroom.

‘As a consequence they knocked on the front door. Mr Ellis opened the door and told them where the other plants were kept.’

As well as the two plants in the bathroom there was one in his kitchen, four in the airing cupboard and one in the loft. The officers also found hydroponic equipment used to grow the plants.

Ellis, who has a previous conviction for possessing cannabis, told police he didn’t realise it was illegal to grow the drug for his own use.

He said he had moved the plants indoors from his garden after they got spider mites, which feed on the leaves.

The married 46-year-old, who works full time, pleaded guilty to a charge of cultivating cannabis.

Stephen Clayton, defending, said: ‘This defendant has had a cannabis habit for a very long time.

‘Some people are addicted to cigarettes which are not illegal, some get addicted to cannabis that is – it’s as simple as that.’

He said Ellis had been given the plants by a friend and was not going to sell any of the class B drug.

Ellis was given a 12-month community order and told to do 100 hours of unpaid work.

Recorder Frank Privett warned him he could be jailed if caught again.