Drug growers caught after police smell cannabis

PUBLISHED: 14:23 27 January 2017 | UPDATED: 14:59 27 January 2017

Exeter Crown Court.

Exeter Crown Court.

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Exeter Crown Court has dealt with a pair of drug growers who were caught after police noticed a strong smell of cannabis in Topsham

A pair of drug growers was caught red handed after police noticed a strong smell of skunk coming from a house in Topsham.

Alan Ellicott and Amanda Clements were found in a kitchen stripping leaves from home grown plants and bagging up the remaining buds ready for use.

Officers found plants growing in two tents at Clements’s house in Rydon Lane, Topsham, and a further eight growing at Ellicott’s home at Redlands Close.

They also found more than £4,000 cash at his house but he told them it was savings from his job as a scaffolder in which he was paid cash in hand.

Ellicott, aged 49, of Redlands Close, admitted production of cannabis and being concerned in production and was ordered to do 100 hours unpaid community work, pay £250 costs, by Recorder Mr Don Tait at Exeter Crown Court.

He was also ordered to forfeit £2,240 of the £4,110 seized from his home, which was deemed to be the minimum value of his crop.

Clements, aged 47, of Rydon Lane, Topsham, admitted being concerned in production of cannabis and was conditionally discharged by a different judge at an earlier hearing.

Recorder Tait told Ellicott: “You are a hard working individual who for many years has occupied your leisure time by growing and smoking cannabis. That is a criminal offence but you continue to do it.

“That is a choice which inevitably brings you into the criminal justice system. I take into account your guilty pleas, your basis of plea, and the sentence which was passed on your co-accused, who had a much greater amount of cannabis than you.

“You are getting to an age when you should not be smoking spliffs all day long, when you are not working. I hope you give up cannabis.

“You must realise you are now a target and the bloodhound nose of the policeman will catch you out, as it did on this occasion.”

Miss Caroline Bolt, prosecuting, said a police patrol in Rydon Lane on July 16 noticed a strong smell of cannabis and went to investigate.

They traced it to Clements’s house where they found her and Ellicott feeding stalks into a machine that separated out the buds, which are the part normally smoked.

Two tents containing plants were found at her house and eight plants were found at Ellicott’s along with the money. He said all the cannabis was for his own use and the money came from his wages, which were paid in cash.

Mr Peter Coombe, defending, said Ellicott had taken a piece of equipment he owned to help Clements process her crop. He said that despite her having far more of the drug than him, the judge who sentenced her had concluded she had a lesser role.

He said Ellicott was not selling cannabis and the money at his house was what he had saved from his wages to pay for building work.

He is now addressing his lifestyle. He has stopped smoking and drinking and is reducing his cannabis use.

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