Cannabis user jailed for growing drugs in Hartlepool after failing to learn his lesson

Teesside Crown Court
Teesside Crown Court

A CANNABIS user failed to learn his lesson by growing the drug after being previously jailed for the same crime.

Sean Charlton, 26, was jailed for 15 months two years ago after he grew 55 plants intended for the town drugs market worth up to £9,000 at his Hartlepool home.

When he was released from prison he began to grow his own crop again, this time for his own use.

Teesside Crown Court heard he did it so he would not have to associate with ruthless drug dealers like the kind that forced him to grow the previous crop that saw him jailed.

Jenny Haigh, prosecuting, said police found 18 young cannabis plants in a back bedroom at Charlton’s home after he was arrested for something else on December 6.

Ms Haigh said: “The plants were a significant time away from full maturity but a room had been set up.

“There was sheeting on the walls, high intensity lights that were controlled by a timer, and nutrients.”

Ms Haigh said the plants could have gone on to produce 810 grams of cannabis with a street value of £8,100.

Charlton pleaded guilty to production of a controlled drug of Class B.

But the judge accepted the intended drugs were 
for Charlton’s own personal use.

Richard Herrmann, mitigating, said was still using cannabis when he was released from prison in June 2012.

Mr Herrmann said: “Because of his obvious and understandable fear and terror at the thought of going anywhere near drug dealers he made the enormously foolish decision to grow some cannabis for his own use.”

He said Charlton, a lorry driver, of Shields Terrace, Hartlepool, had now kicked the habit and was a hard worker.

He was given eight months prison suspended for two years and fined £2,000.

Recorder Sophie Drake said it was “staggering” he got involved with drugs after his last conviction.

But she added: “It’s very much to your credit that since your arrest you have been to see your GP and you are now drug free.

“Because of your early guilty plea and the fact you have at long last addressed that cannabis habit and are a hard worker

“I’m prepared to suspend the sentence.”