Community order for Ottery man found with cannabis in his garage

PUBLISHED: 13:03 21 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:42 21 June 2018

Photographs of the plants found in Jason Nardone's garage. CREDIT: Crown Prosecution Service

Photographs of the plants found in Jason Nardone's garage. CREDIT: Crown Prosecution Service

Archant

An Ottery man who grew 23 cannabis plants, worth up to £19,000, in his garage to help with his bad back has been handed a community order.

Photographs of the plants found in Jason Nardone's garage. CREDIT: Crown Prosecution Service Photographs of the plants found in Jason Nardone's garage. CREDIT: Crown Prosecution Service

Jason Nardone, of Paxford House Square, Ottery St Mary, pleaded guilty to producing and possessing the class B drug at Exeter Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Prosecutor Lindsey Baker told the court that on January 11 this year, police found 23 plants and a bin bag of dried leaf in the self-employed plasterer’s garage after being alerted by a letting agent carrying out work in a neighbouring property.

Officers discovered 20 medium and three small-sized plants which were estimated to be worth between £6,440 and £19,320, as well as equipment including a nursery tent.

The court also heard that 175 grams of cannabis was found in a black bin bag and valued at £1,750.

Photographs of the plants found in Jason Nardone's garage. CREDIT: Crown Prosecution Service Photographs of the plants found in Jason Nardone's garage. CREDIT: Crown Prosecution Service

Mrs Baker said: “During interview he [Nardone] made a full and frank admission he was cultivating.

“He never sold any cannabis. It was all for his own personal use. He had three smokes a day of pure cannabis, he didn’t mix it.

“He was growing more than he could have smoked. He explained the last few were the quality of plant he was looking for.

“He grew so many as he wanted to make sure he had enough. He would then put it in a bin bag where he goes to the bin bag and takes the amount he needed.”

Photographs of the plants found in Jason Nardone's garage. CREDIT: Crown Prosecution Service Photographs of the plants found in Jason Nardone's garage. CREDIT: Crown Prosecution Service

During sentencing, Magistrates handed Nardone a 12-month community order, 100 hours of unpaid work, and ordered him to pay £170 in costs.

In mitigation, James Rickard, said the father-of-three had found no effective form of pain relief for his back.

He added: “He was consuming herbal cannabis for his own personal use. All of the items have been taken and he will make a decision how to deal with his pain until the law changes, if it ever changes.”

The chairman of the magistrates bench said: “You have taken great effort to produce quite a substantial amount of cannabis and we do accept there is no suggestion of you trying to produce for supply.

Photographs of the plants found in Jason Nardone's garage. CREDIT: Crown Prosecution Service Photographs of the plants found in Jason Nardone's garage. CREDIT: Crown Prosecution Service

“We order the forfeiture and destruction of the plants and equipment. You have to understand, whatever problems you have, you cannot self-medicate.”

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