Ormskirk gardener, who used his green thumb to grow cannabis, avoids jail

A gardener who gave his green fingers to growing cannabis after an argument with his family escaped jail.

Robbie Wright, 29, oversaw a cannabis crop that could have grown to £ 27,000 after agreeing to work for drug dealers.

Trained as a gardener and landscaper by his family’s horticultural business, he found illicit use of his skills and oversaw a farm in a house in Ormskirk town center.

He was caught while police raided the Stanley Street property and secured drugs at various stages of growth in four rooms.

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Accusingly, Mark Stephenson told Preston Crown Court that police were executing a drug warrant against the house on April 27, 2019. A total of 49 plants were salvaged with a potential yield of £ 27,000, while the facility also included ventilation equipment and lighting and heating equipment to allow the growth.

Wright, who has no criminal record, was present and was arrested at the scene. He was then charged with making a Class B drug and drawing electricity, both of which he admitted at an earlier hearing in Preston Magistrates Court.

At the hearing on Tuesday (September 14), he pleaded guilty to another charge of concerns about cannabis supplies.

David Birrell defended himself, saying it was clear from messages on Wright’s phone that he was taking orders from someone up the chain and complaining about his treatment from them.

He said Wright of Lord Sefton Way of Great Altcar had trained in the family business and acquired a landscaping qualification before working as a greenkeeper and arborist on a golf course.

He is currently working as a tire fitter.

Mr. Birrell added, “It’s fair to say he came from a good family, attended good schools, was well busy for a long time, but 2019 or so collapsed for him. He broke up with his father and left home, starting to smoke too much cannabis, which clouded his judgment. Fortunately, he cleared things up with his parents, brought up cannabis abuse and tried to get on with his life. “

Judge Guy Mathieson stated at the beginning of the hearing that he would not send Wright to jail, but warned that the outcome would likely be different if he insulted again.

Commenting on the condemnation, he said, “Many people have had extremely difficult times in the past few months and years for various reasons. I understand that when your home and work are connected when you fail, it makes a huge impact. But those in trouble don’t automatically become criminals, so that’s not an excuse.

“What you did was turn your green fingers on crime and growing cannabis. Their role in this business was to cultivate this cannabis to its maximum effect.

“The defense is, I accept that you are not at the forefront, but those who are rarely caught because there are people like you who, for financial reasons, selfishly choose to get involved. They rely on you to become a co-worker. If you don’t like the terms of this job, then harsh because it is a crime.

“You are young, you have no criminal record, you have dealt with these problems that brought you here, you still have support from your family for which you should be very grateful. Where you were in 2019, you are now a completely different person. “

Judge Mathieson handed down a 16-month suspended sentence of 18 months, warning, “If you fall out of favor a second time, it will be a prison sentence.”

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