'Come off it, 47 plants?': Judge blasts man's personal use claim after cannabis was found growing in two rooms of his family home
A judge told a defendant that his explanation for having two rooms full of cannabis plants was "nonsense".
Sebastian Wojcik claimed the 47 plants at his property were for personal use during a hearing at Leeds Crown Court.
He was not charged with supplying the drug, but felt the wrath of Recorder Dafydd Enoch QC who said: "Come off it, 47 plants? I do not accept that. What other sensible view can I take?
"His explanations are just nonsense and they are not helping him."
Caroline Abrahams, prosecuting, said that police officers were called to an address on Bottom Boat Road, Stanley, Wakefield, on the evening of March 27 this year following reports of an illegal party during lockdown.
While there, they spotted a white Mercedes drop two people off so they stopped the car and suspected the driver, 32-year-old Wojcik, was on drugs.
They searched the car and arrested him after finding a small bag of cocaine and two MDMA tablets.
The next day they went to his home on Lincoln Street in Wakefield and found the plants across two rooms, along with a sophisticated set-up for growing the drug, including fans, lighting and an irrigation system.
He told the police that the drugs found in the car were for personal use, and the cannabis was solely for him.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a Class A drugs and producing cannabis.
Charlotte Noddings, mitigating for Wojcik, said that the defendant grew up in America, moved to Britain five years ago and had two young children.
She said of the 17 plants found had been of medium size, with the remainder just saplings.
After the judge questioned if they were for personal use, Miss Noddings pointed out that no evidence of dealing was found, including mobile phone activity or dealer bags.
She said: "He was ignorant to the law but that's not an excuse, it was a mistake on his part. He is sorry."
Recorder Enoch replied: "Either he knew it was illegal to grow cannabis or he did not. I do not accept his remorse."
Sentencing Wojcik, he said: "I do not believe for a second that you did not know what you were doing was illegal.
"It does you no credit to try and pull the wool over my eyes.
"I do not know what the norm is in the US, but I doubt very much it's far from here."
Wojcik was given an eight-month jail sentence, suspended for 24 months, and ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work.
He was also given a six-month electronically-tagged curfew.
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