Updated: Wednesday, 18th September 2019 @ 2:33pm

Salford man narrowly escapes jail for 'cannabis farm', as judge warns of 'climate change' towards amateur growers

Salford man narrowly escapes jail for 'cannabis farm', as judge warns of 'climate change' towards amateur growers

By Barrie White, News Correspondent

A Salford man has narrowly escaped jail after pleading guilty to growing a skunk cannabis farm in his rented home. 

Andrew Kenneth Stewart, 30, from 52 Whitefriars Court, was arrested in February after police officers raided his home to find 35 cannabis plants and cultivating equipment.

After three samples were sent away to the Forensic Science Service (FSS), it was confirmed that Stewart was trying to grow skunk.

The plants had not yet matured but the FSS said that if they had, the yield could have been up to 40 grams per plant.

This would have brought Stewart over a kilogram of skunk cannabis and the prosecution said that if he had intended to supply, it would have netted him around £6,000.

Judge Timothy Mort warned that there had been ‘a climate change’ to amateur cannabis growers, saying it was illegal regardless of intent to supply.

He considered that 35 plants was an excessive number for an amateur grower and that he took this offence very seriously.

Stewart had faced a custodial sentence of up to three years had he not pleaded guilty early and it was taken into consideration that he had lost his job in removals.

The judge also noted that Stewart had regained employment and had stopped taking cannabis – having previously spent up to £100 a week on his habit.

Stewart was given an eight-month sentence – suspended for 18 months – and ordered to pay £85 towards the prosecution’s cost.


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