A man who ran a massive cannabis farm in his flat — then claimed he planned to smoke the crop he’d grown by himself — has been jailed for 18 months.
Lewis Maxwell’s cultivation was discovered when a debt collector forced open his door to enforce an unpaid gas bill.
The debt collector found an extensive, “sophisticated” cannabis plantation inside the flat in Montrose Street, Brechin.
Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told Dundee Sheriff Court that, in total, 133 plants and associated paraphernalia were found in a room between the flat’s kitchen and bedroom.
Miss Robertson said: “The flat had been rented out by another male.
“He and the accused went to Brechin police office and the accused told them ‘I’m here to hand myself in for the grow on Montrose Street, its mine’.
“The accused claimed he had been growing cannabis there for the last six months.
“He claimed he was due to move into that flat imminently as he was due to be evicted from his own tenancy in High Street, Brechin.
“He said the other male had taken out the Montrose Street tenancy on his behalf due to his poor credit rating.
“He claimed the cannabis plants were all for his own personal use and he used cannabis to help him sleep.
“He claimed he would ‘grow them, keep a big stash and smoke them throughout the year’.
“Forensic officers confirmed the quantity of plants was in excess of what would be retained for personal use and is indicative of the accused being concerned in the supply of cannabis.
“They are of the opinion that the plants would yield between one and three ounces each with a total value of between £23,940 and £71,820.”
Maxwell, 27, a prisoner at Perth, pleaded guilty on indictment to producing cannabis between October 24 2014 and April 24 2015 at an address in Montrose Street, Brechin.
He further admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis between the same dates and failing to turn up at court at an earlier hearing.
Sheriff Tom Hughes sentenced Maxwell to a total of 18 months in jail.