Published: 15:32, 10 July 2018
An electrician who told his wife he was installing under floor heating at their home was actually growing cannabis, a court heard.
Graham Bailey had converted two rooms in their disused swimming pool under the house to cultivate the plants.
Police raided the house in Knatts Valley Road, West Kingsdown, and found 33 flourishing plants up to 4ft high, along with growing equipment including lamps, a time switch and ventilation.
Prosecutor Mary Jacobson told Maidstone Crown Court there was no automatic watering system, so Bailey would have had to go there to water them.
Officers also found fertiliser, old plant material and a sandwich box containing herbal cannabis.
Bailey’s seven-months-pregnant wife was also arrested in the raid on March 21 this year and spent a day in custody.
But she was released after the 35-year-old former Wilmington Grammar schoolboy insisted she knew nothing about it.
“He told his wife he was installing under floor heating,” said Miss Jacobson.
He said he bought the equipment at boot fairs and grew the drug to save money for his own habit.
"It is clear it was solely for your own use and, therefore, a lesser role..." - Recorder Gareth Branston
He had been smoking it since he was at university where he obtained a degree in human resources.
The father-of-two, who had been cautioned in 2011 for possessing cannabis, admitted cultivating the plants.
The court was told he was no longer a cannabis user. He was said to have a prowess as a self-employed electrician and to be hard working.
Recorder Gareth Branston said in his view the offence did not pass the custody threshold.
“Initially, I thought this might be a case of significant role, but it is clear it was solely for your own use and, therefore, a lesser role,” he said.
“Imprisonment is likely to have a significant impact on your wife and young family.
“I am required to punish you. It remains an illegal drug. It is not so serious an actual custodial sentence is appropriate.”
Bailey as sentenced to a community order with 120 hours unpaid work. He was ordered to pay £425 costs.
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