Drug offender caught with £40,000 of cannabis claims it was for his own use

Pictured is an example of cannabis.
Pictured is an example of cannabis.

A drug offender caught with five kilos of dried cannabis at his home has claimed that it was for his own use.

Derby magistrates’ court heard how Paulius Juozapaitis, 30, of Allendale Road, Heanor, had two of the three bedrooms of his rented home converted to grow the class B drug.

The third box bedroom was set aside for storing materials typically used to cultivate the crop he was producing, according to the court.

Police made the discovery after they had raided the property and found the 30-year-old Lithuanian national and his partner sleeping on a sofa bed in the lounge, according to the court.

Paul Mcleod, defending, said: “While he has pleaded guilty to production of cannabis, what he does not accept is that he was growing it to sell on.

“He is a user, he was growing it to smoke himself.

“He is adamant it was for his own consumption and nothing else.

“He says there is nothing on his mobile phone, which has been seized by the police, to suggest he was selling it to anyone else.”

Lynn Bickley, prosecuting, said officers executed a warrant at the home of Juozapaitis on October 16.

She said the defendant and two other people were present when they raided the three-bedroom, semi-detached property after receiving information that cannabis was being grown there.

Miss Bickley said: “There was a sofa bed on the living room floor but not other beds at the property.

“The other floors had been dedicated to cannabis production.

“The first box room was set aside for the storing of materials typically used to grow the drug.

“The next bedroom has been converted to grow cannabis with the windows sealed up, lighting and insulation.

“The electricity had been by-passed and 48 plants were growing which were close to the stage where they cold be cropped.”

Miss Bickley said in the second bedroom cropped flowering bud heads were discovered and in total the estimated weight of all of the drugs was as high as 5kg with an upper value of £40,000 if sold on the street in 1g deals.

Juozapaitis pleaded guilty to the production of cannabis.

He told police he was responsible for growing cannabis but told officers it was for his own consumption and he did not know it was illegal in the UK.

Mr McCleod said his client had been coming to the UK from his home country of Lithuania on a number of occasions and had previously worked in the building and electrical trade in Portsmouth and Wigan.

He said Juozapaitis had been living in Heanor with his partner for the past few months.

Mr McCleod said: “Curiosity killed the cat. He was curious, he smoked cannabis and he grew it for himself.”

Magistrates committed the case to Derby Crown Court for a further hearing on November 7.