Jail for Hartlepool drug farmer who attacked his wife

A violent husband's attack on his wife led to police finding a cannabis farm in their home - and 43 months in jail.

Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 5:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 6:35 am
Stephen Readman

Police found Stephen Readman’s cannabis farm when they were called to deal with his assault on his wife Paula.

Teesside Crown Court heard Readman had stabbed his wife in the arm after taking drink and drugs.

Stephen Readman grew cannabis plants at his home

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Emma Atkinson, prosecuting, said: “Officers were called to an address in Chester Road in Hartlepool. Mrs Readman had suffered a knife wound to her arm which required seven stitches.

“She says Readman had been violent to her in the past, and she knew of his drug taking.

“He became violent on this occasion after she declined his request for sex, becoming more upset when she asked him about a phone call.”

She said Readman punched his wife, kicked her, and pushed her downstairs before picking up a knife from the kitchen.

Stephen Readman grew cannabis plants at his home

Ms Atkinson added: “He held the knife to her throat saying he was going to kill her.

“He then made stabbing motions, cutting her arm as she put it up to defend herself.”

Police found 95 cannabis plants ready to be cropped and seedlings for a second crop in the loft of the house.

“They were described by the officer as well-maintained,” said Ms Atkinson. “It had clearly been created by someone who knew what they were doing.

“Based on three crops a year, the annual cash yield would be around £82,000.”

Readman, 33, of Alnwick Close, Hartlepool, admitted unlawful wounding and producing a class B drug, both on October 23.

Edward Johnson, defending, said: “Mr Readman does have a record of previous convictions, but nothing for offences of violence.

“The injuries suffered by the victim were not serious in the context of the offence of unlawful wounding.

“Mr Readman has no wish for a reconciliation, and he realises he will not be seeing the victim again.

“Mr Readman has given a series of negative drug tests while in prison on remand.

“He has used his time well, becoming a mentor and teaching painting and decorating to other prisoners.”

Judge Simon Bourne-Arton jailed Readman for 43 months.

The judge told him: “This was a serious offence of domestic violence against your wife, at night, and in her own home.

“It was a sustained attack, and a weapon was used.

“I accept you have no violence on your record, but you do have a conviction for producing cannabis.”