A GARDENER who was discovered to have up to 32 cannabis plants growing in pots in his garden has seen his case sent to the Isle of Wight Crown Court.

Peter Thomas, 39, appeared at the Isle of Wight Magistrates' Court on Tuesday (7) where he pleaded guilty to the concerned production of cannabis.

The court heard how Thomas, of Newport Road, Godshill, was arrested by police when they discovered his growing operation, valued at £8,960.

Prosecutor, Ann Smout, said: "On July 12, police attended his address to speak with a man who was living in a shed in the garden, concerning an unrelated matter.

"When police arrived, they noticed several cannabis plants sitting in plain view, in pot plants out in his garden.

"When police searched his property, they discovered his loft area contained a large fan and had been set up to dry out the plants, though he admits this was never used.

"There was an envelope in his room that contained a note that said: "This is for your garden. I want lots of tomatoes, ha ha ha."

"He did insist to police he had no intent on selling any of the cannabis. He was growing it purely for his own use."

Barry Arnett, defending Thomas, said: "The police went to that property, not looking to speak to him. He is not the man who lives in the shed.

"He is a man of previously good character, an avid gardener who suffers with depression.

"He confirmed to the police that all the plants were his and it was his first attempt at growing the plants. "He was not in any way producing significant quantities for the purposes of any commercial enterprise."

The case was adjourned to January 31 at the Isle of Wight Crown Court.

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