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Smith’s man built concealed room to grow cannabis

A 39-year-old caught growing cannabis in a home recording studio was handed a suspended sentence in Magistrates’ Court.

Police found four cannabis plants and five seedlings in a concealed room David Cunningham created at his Smith’s home.

Crown counsel Nicole Smith yesterday told magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo that Cunningham was cultivating cannabis as part of a “full-scale operation”.

“Officers searched the defendant’s music studio and discovered a hidden door built into a sound-proofed wall,” she said.

“Behind that door were three doors. Officers opened the largest of the three doors and found four pots containing plants, each contained a brown pebble substance.

“Each pot was sustained with an individual irrigation system. They also discovered a heat lamp and fans above the plants along with various other items.”

Officers executed a search warrant at Cunningham’s Knapton Close home on April 27, Ms Smith told the court.

He was charged with cultivating cannabis last August, and pleaded guilty to the offence.

Defence lawyer Charles Richardson argued yesterday that the cannabis was for his client’s personal use.

He described Cunningham as a man who had previously stayed out of trouble.

“He is a man of excellent character, he was raised well with a good family.”

Asked if he had anything to say, Cunningham told Mr Tokunbo: “I apologise to the court. It’s been very exhaustive and embarrassing for my family and I want to thank them for their support for this selfish act.”

The magistrate said: “You went through great lengths to conceal your act. The offence of cultivation is a serious one. It attracts a custodial sentence even when it’s for personal use.

“However, the number of plants is the smallest that I’ve dealt with.”

The magistrate took into account Cunningham’s previously good character and guilty plea and said: “I think you are genuinely remorseful for this offence and you will learn a lesson.”

He then sentenced Cunningham to nine months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months with 18 months probation.

Mr Tokunbo also ordered Cunningham to abstain from illegal drugs, submit to random drug testing and participate in any other programmes deemed necessary.

He warned Cunningham that if he commits any offences within the next 18 months the sentence will be activated.

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Published March 14, 2012 at 9:00 am (Updated March 14, 2012 at 9:54 am)

Smith’s man built concealed room to grow cannabis

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