Drug-grower, 63, avoids jail

A 63-year-old arthritis sufferer who smoked cannabis to ease her pain has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Police searched the home of Jennifer Laycock in Union Street, Sowerby Bridge, last November and discovered cannabis plants in her attic and cellar.

Prosecutor Ewan McLachlan said officers found 40 plants and the electricity meter was being by-passed.

Bradford Crown Court heard that the plants could have yielded more than one-and-a-half kilos of cannabis which would have been worth around £13,700.

Laycock pleaded guilty to growing cannabis and abstracting electricity.

She admitted that the cannabis farm had been set up by someone she declined to name and she would have kept some for her own use.

Laycock admitted smoking cannabis for over 40 years and said it relieved her pain.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said the defendant had been suffering from arthritis for many years and thought it was OK to smoke cannabis as part of the treatment.

“Well it isn’t and everybody’s getting increasingly touchy, to put it bluntly, about the proliferation of cannabis farms,” he added.

“I’m told, it seems to be a fact, that so much cannabis is now being produced in this country that we are exporting it which is quite a remarkable achievement you may think.”

The judge told Laycock it had to stop or she would go to prison with arthritis was not a happy prospect.

Laycock was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and made the subject of a four-month electronically-monitored home curfew between 8pm and 7am.