63-year-old cannabis farmer avoids prison

A DRUG DEALER who was growing cannabis with a potential street value of over £13,000 in his home has escaped a jail term.

John Stewart Trewartha, 63, was operating a cannabis farm from his home in White Lee Gardens, Mytholmroyd.

When police raided the property on August 12, 2011 they found 37 cannabis plants and £5,000 in cash.

His Honour Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said: “Growing cannabis will not do. Everybody thinks you’re a bit of an amateur here, with growing and selling cannabis.

“You are a very accomplished musician and I think you overlooked the seriousness of this.

“If I see you in here again, you will receive a custodial sentence.”

Trewartha admitted growing cannabis for two years and told police he supplied it to a small group of friends to fund his own drug habit. He said he made £2,000 a month from dealing.

When asked about the £5,000, Trewartha told police he was a self-employed taxi driver and had been keeping some money back from the Inland Revenue for the last five years.

Officers also found a quantity of cannabis with a potential street value of £1,200 during the raid, as well as a dehumidifier and drugs paraphernalia.

He was ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work in the community and Judge Durham Hall told him he would not be so lucky next time.