Royal Mail weed interception leads to discovery of Simon Taylor's Redruth cannabis factory

17 Feb 2017, 08:04 ... story.html

A man whose £15,000 home cannabis factory was discovered after he was caught sending drugs by Royal Mail has avoided a prison sentence.

Simon Taylor, 59, of Johns Park, Redruth, appeared at Truro Crown Court on Thursday to be sentenced after previously pleading guilty to charges of cannabis possession with intent to supply and producing a controlled drug.

Police raided Taylor's home after it came to light that the defendant sent a package to a friend in Merseyside via Royal Mail. It was intercepted after its smell drew attention.

The package contained 16 grams of cannabis, worth around £220.

Prosecuting Taylor, Heather Hope told the court that his home was then raided and he told police, "I might as well be honest", before revealing a sophisticated operation he claimed was "to avoid the bedroom tax".

During the search officers seized 19 plants along with £3,980 in cash. The plants taken were worth £1,680, but could produce drugs with a street value between £5,000 and £15,000.

Taylor informed the police he had been growing cannabis since late 2014, though he denied the operation was for financial gain.

Bathsheba Cassel, mitigating, told the court that Taylor believed cannabis helped his serious underlying health issues, and that he had finished his fifth round of chemotherapy treatment earlier this year.

Sentencing Taylor, Judge Simon Carr said: "I accept you did it to address medical problems, but by far the most serious part of these crimes was that the drugs were sent through the post and may have been damaging had they fallen into the wrong hands.

"You are a man of 59 and have since indicated that more conventional cancer treatment has proved successful."

Taylor was handed an eight-month suspended prison sentence alongside 150 hours of unpaid work.

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