£13k of cannabis ‘was just for me’

A cannabis grower faces a special hearing before a judge to decide whether he was producing the drug for his own use.

Nigel Singleton, 46, of Brighouse, appeared at Bradford Crown Court to be sentenced.

But his case was adjourned after a dispute between the prosecution and defence over the basis of his guilty plea to producing cannabis.

The prosecution allege the 39 plants police discovered growing at a property last September could have produced cannabis worth in excess of £13,000. But Singleton’s case is that the drug was for his own use.

Recorder Julian Smith heard that an oral basis of plea was accepted by the prosecution at the magistrates court before the case was committed to crown court for sentence.

But prosecutor Ewan McLachlan said the prosecution file had no indication of a basis of plea.

He told the judge: “In my opinion that is an awful lot of cannabis for personal use and certainly not a basis I would accept were I offered it.’’

Recorder Smith told Singleton, of Mayfield Avenue, Brighouse, that his case could not go ahead because of the dispute over his guilty plea.

The judge said a “mini-trial” before a judge would be needed to hear evidence from Singleton and other witnesses before a decision could be made.

The so-called “Newton hearing’’ will take place on February 8 and Singleton had his bail extended.

A Newton hearing dates from a 1983 case in which the two sides offer such conflicting evidence that a judge sitting without a jury tries to find out who is telling the truth.