Wellingborough pair caught with 2.5kg of drugs claim they were making cannabis oil after watching TV chef

Neville Perrin, 44, of Minerva Way, and David Cochrane, 36, of Butterfields, were busted after police found them in boiler suits and dust masks at a property in the town on February 29.
Neville Perrin, 44, of Minerva Way, and David Cochrane, 36, of Butterfields, were busted after police found them in boiler suits and dust masks at a property in the town on February 29.

Two Wellingborough men have admitted growing almost 2.5kg of cannabis after being caught red-handed by police - but claim they were only making cannabis oil after drawing inspiration from a TV chef.

Neville Perrin, 44, of Minerva Way, and David Cochrane, 36, of Butterfields, were busted after police found them in boiler suits and dust masks at a property in the town on February 29.

Kettering Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday (Wednesday) how police searched the property and found 14 cannabis plants, lighting equipment and almost 2.5kg of the Class B drug inside.

The friends admitted their guilt, but claimed that they were only cultivating the drug to make cannabis oil as Perrin’s father had Alzheimer’s.

It is widely thought that the oil reduces symptoms of the disease, which causes progressive mental deterioration.

The court heard that Perrin had previously been caught with the drug in April last year, but had promised not to again.

When asked how he intended to turn the drug into oil, Perrin claimed he intended to buy a ricer - which he had seen celebrity chef Rick Stein use for culinary purposes on a TV show.

But prosecutor Ian Johnson disputed the pair’s testimony.

He said: “The Crown does not agree with their story, based on the sheer volume of the drug.

“There is a large variation in sentencing between growing cannabis to make the oil and growing it for commercial gain.”

Chairman of the bench Richard Lewis agreed with Mr Johnson’s argument and granted the pair unconditional bail to appear at Wellingborough Magistrates’ Court on July 28.

They will face a Newton hearing, where a magistrate will hear both sides of the story before making a decision on who is telling the truth without a jury, before sentencing the pair.