Law student had cannabis plants worth £54,000

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A LAW student had cannabis plants capable of producing £54,000 worth of the drug when police searched his home, a court heard.

Officers knocked on the door of Adrian Burgess’s home on Mountbatten Avenue, Sandal, Wakefield, after becoming suspicious of the smell coming from the property.

Leeds Crown Court heard Burgess answered the door and told the officers: “I might as well let you in. No point in messing about.”

He showed the officers into a back bedroom where 71 plants were growing in two large tents.

Burgess, 45, was interviewed about the discovery and told officers he had been growing the plants for his own use. He said he had been smoking cannabis to help with pain relief as he suffered from a number of medical problems. Burgess pleaded guilty to producing cannabis.

The court heard he has previous convictions for violence and driving offences.

Adrian Pollard, mitigating, said Burgess suffered from a number of serious medical difficulties.

He said: “He is not an unintelligent man but his life has been wrongly directed. His health had a dramatic impact and he had turned to studying.”

Mr Pollard said Burgess was near to completing his law studies and hoped to work for a charity advising people who had suffered with similar problems as he had. Judge Guy Kearl, QC, described the case as having “particularly peculiar circumstances.”

Burgess was made the subject of a 12 month community and supervision order, during which he must take part in a 50-day activity requirement designed to address his offending.

The judge said: “Running a cannabis farm, whether it is for yourself or not, is a matter which is contrary to the criminal law.”