A HORTICULTURE graduate who was caught growing cannabis in his bedroom said it was just an experiment.
Sebastian Nehve-Rogers set up equipment to grow eight cannabis plants at his home in Chelsea Road, Southsea.
When police found the plants, the unemployed 29-year-old told them they were to feed his own habit.
Officers also found amphetamines at his home which he claimed were to keep him awake while sailing.
Henry Farley, defending, said Nehve-Rogers had been foolish.
‘This is purely for his own use. It involved no other individual,’ he said.
‘It has to be conceded that the set-up is a workman-like operation.
‘The set-up, I do agree, is of a high standard.’
He added: ‘He has had an experiment which has had disastrous consequences for him.
‘It was a foolish enterprise which Mr Nehve-Rogers realised became foolish and had put a stop to before he was arrested.’
Nehve-Rogers pleaded guilty to production of the class B cannabis and possession of class B amphetamines following his arrest in February.
Sentencing him at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court, District Judge Anne Arnold said: ‘Mr Nehve-Rogers you claim to be an intelligent person who didn’t give thought to the seriousness of the project which you were undertaking.
‘You are a forestry and horticulture graduate and you claim you didn’t intend to pursue this project long-term.
‘You claim that you put a stop to it but you didn’t destroy the plants because you saw it as a horticultural process and yet you went on to harvest the cannabis.’
She added: ‘I treat what you say with a large measure of scepticism.’
She said the fact that Nehve-Rogers had spent £600 over three months to get the equipment to grow the plants showed it was a well-planned operation.
‘I take the view that your role, given what you told the police when you were arrested, certainly has characteristics of a significant role because you were seeking to obtain an advantage,’ District Judge Arnold said.
Nehve-Rogers, who wore a suit, shirt and tie to court, was given a 12-month community order and told to do 200 hours of unpaid work.
The judge warned him: ‘I make it plain that any breach of this order is going to come back before me.
‘The probability is that if you breach the order you may well be facing a sentence of imprisonment.’
Nehve-Rogers was told to pay £85 in costs.
The court ordered the drugs to be destroyed.