Carer avoids jail for cannabis grow

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A Cotmanhay cannabis grower was excused jail after a court heard that he was the main carer for his father who is blighted with dementia.

Thomas Hogg’s dad forgetfully left on water taps and flooded his Ilkeston home, causing repairs costing £15,000, a court heard.

There were fears he could do the same with a gas tap and is now under the care of Hogg, 29, of Beauvale Drive.

Judge John Burgess said people should expect prison for producing cannabis and that only those ‘exceptional circumstances’ had saved him.

“This is an increasingly popular offence,” the judge said at Derby Crown Court on Tuesday.

“People see it as easy money, an easy offence to commit with large profits. Profits may be large but the consequences of being caught are very serious indeed.”

Hogg got an 11-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, after pleading guilty to producing cannabis at a house in Beauvale Drive.

The judge said that Hogg’s father would be unable to live alone. He ordered Hogg to do 200 hours of unpaid work.

Ian Way, prosecuting, told the court that the house was unoccupied after Hogg’s parents split up.

On August 6 last year, police were told of a break-in. They followed muddy prints left by intruders and these led them to 31 cannabis plants growing in the loft.

If the cannabis had been turned into one ounce deals, that could have raised up to £15,000 on the streets. Hogg gave the name of another man involved but police never traced him, added Mr Way.

Nicola Hornby, mitigating, said Hogg was caring for his father, who began to suffer from dementia at the early age of 57. Hogg had never been in trouble before.

When Hogg was out at work, other people had to visit to ensure his father did not cause any problems.

He also suffers from depression and Miss Hornby added: “He is so forgetful he turns on taps and can’t be trusted to look after himself. He is not able to maintain any kind of independent living.”