Wellingborough man claimed he grew £20k cannabis farm ‘to treat his father’s Alzheimer’s’

Crown Court GV

Crown Court GV

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A man who grew £20,000 worth of cannabis in a Wellingborough house claimed he was using it to create an oil that helped treat his father’s Alzheimer’s.

Police raided a house belonging to Neville Perrin’s father on April 9 last year and found four large cannabis plants growing in a front room.

Northampton Crown Court heard there was a tent with lights and fans to encourage the growing of the plants. The estimated value of the yield was between £1,120 and £4,800.

Dominic Woolard, prosecuting, said Perrin, aged 44, told officers he was growing the cannabis to help treat his fathers Alzheimer’s.

He said he “did not want to buy drugs off the street” and said he was not selling any of the cannabis he produced.

The court heard police raided the house again on February 29 this year and even more cannabis plants were found growing in the property.

Mr Woolard said that by this time Perrin’s father had moved into a care home.

When officers arrived at the address on the second occasion, Perrin said: “You got me again. I’m only doing it for my dad with Alzheimer’s”.

David Cochrane, aged 45, was found in the house wearing a white boiler suit and a dust mask.

Cochrane said he had been “helping to cut the leaves.”

The estimated value of the cannabis found in the house was between £21,500 and £37,112.

Both men were charged with producing a class B drug. The case went to a Newton Hearing - held when a defendant pleads guilty but denies a key fact - as Perrin maintained he was growing the cannabis to help his father.

However, magistrates rejected this basis of plea and the case was sent to crown court.

His Honour Judge Michael Fowler said it was a “very substantial quantity” of cannabis ”that would not have been used to treat Perrin’s father’s Alzheimer’s.

He said: “Why on earth you would provide someone with Alzheimer’s with cannabis is a side issue.

“Being caught by the police on the first occasion should have been a shot across your bows, but you took no notice.”

Perrin, of Kittiwake Close, Wellingborough, who was charged with two offences of producing class B drugs, was sentenced to 20 months in jail. Cochrane, of Butterfields, Wellingborough, was sentenced to a 12-month community order, including a six-month drug rehabilitation order.