Deception led to drugs find

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A STANFREE man was caught growing cannabis plants after being arrested for a shop deception.

Carl Mather, 36, of Church Road, conned Tesco out of a £400 camera by scanning in the barcode from a cheap one.

But his scam was itself caught on camera and he was later arrested, Becky Mahon, prosecuting, told Chesterfield magistrates.

To make matters worse for him, his home was later searched and police found 18 cannabis plants growing there.

Ms Mahon said the plants had not reached maturity but they had the potential to raise £7,200 if sold in individual deals.

“He said he regularly used the drug and he was growing cannabis for the first time, having bought equipment from someone in a pub,” said Ms Mahon.

Mather admitted making a false representation on 3rd February and producing cannabis plants on 20th February.

“He had been in full-time work in traffic management on the roadworks but he found it extremely stressful and gave it up,” said Bob Bashforth, defending.

“He had tried cannabis in his youth and knew it was good for relaxation so he tried it and it worked quite well.”

Mather was given a curfew to run between 7pm and 7am for three months and was ordered to pay £386.97 compensation, with £85 costs.

The magistrates also ordered that the cannabis plants be destroyed.