Suspicious smell led to Wigan man's arrest

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court
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A desperate drug addict who started growing his own cannabis after losing his job has been given a community sentence.

Nicholas Halksworth, from Ashton, admitted running a small-scale operation at his home when he appeared at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court.

The bench heard police officers, who had been tipped off by neighbours due to the smell coming from the Richmond Road property, found eight plants being grown in two tents in an upstairs bedroom.

There was no evidence or intention of supplying the drug to anyone else with the cannabis being grown purely for Halksworth’s own consumption, the court was told.

Prosecuting, Katie Beattie said police visited the home of 31-year-old Halksworth on January 9 and immediately noticed the pungent aroma of the drug as well as evidence of use around the property.

Mrs Beattie said: “Initially he denied growing cannabis but when challenged with the information the police had he accepted it was the case.

“Upstairs in the front bedroom there was a small-scale cannabis cultivation set-up. On the left-hand side was a tent with seven plants in and on the right a tent had one.

“There were also heat lights and other equipment.”

Defending, Karen Moorfield said her client took the drug and was also battling depression, with the whole situation being made worse by losing his job in early December.

However, she said he recognised he had problems and was getting counselling.

Ms Moorfield said: “He lost his job and decided the easiest thing to do was grow cannabis himself.

“He has a long-standing problem with depression and was using the cannabis, although he freely accepts this doesn’t help and probably makes it worse. He knows it is not just the addiction he needs to work on but also the underlying issues and he is trying to tackle everything head on.”

The magistrates made a community order for 12 months,60 hours of unpaid work in it. They also ordered Halksworth to pay £100 costs and an £85 victim’s surcharge.