Cornwall

Cannabis grower Joseph Collins spared jail to study horticulture

Joseph Collins
Image caption Joseph Collins comes from a "good Christian family", the judge said

A man who admitted growing cannabis has been spared jail by a judge and will now go on to study horticulture.

Joseph Collins, 24, pleaded guilty at Truro Crown Court to growing cannabis plants while at Falmouth University.

Judge Christopher Harvey Clark said he was aware public schoolboy Collins came "from a good Christian family" and had been to a "very good school".

He gave Collins a six-month suspended sentence and said he should "start a new life" at horticultural college.

The court heard Collins was a former pupil at the £29,000-a-year King's School, Bruton in Somerset.

In mitigation, defence solicitor Terry Eastwood told the court Collins, now living with his parents in Codford near Warminster, Wiltshire, was a very articulate young man who wanted to study horticulture.

'Put this behind you'

He said: "His father is a farmer and his mother is a veterinary surgeon who has just been ordained.

Elaine Hobson, for the prosecution, told the court police searched Collins's student flat in Church Street, Falmouth, after postal packages containing drugs were intercepted.

Sentencing, Judge Clark told Collins: "You were not content with the occasional spliff of cannabis.

"You had cannabis resin and you were growing a small number of cannabis plants."

The judge added: "I know the school where you were a student. It's a very good school which would have given you a good grounding for later life."

He warned Collins to stay away from all drugs, and said: "I hope very much you will be able to start a new life at horticultural college and you can put this behind you."

Collins was given concurrent sentences of six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work, after pleading guilty to production of cannabis worth £1,420 and possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

He was given no separate penalty for guilty pleas to charges of possession of MDMA, cannabis, psilocybin mushrooms and methylphenidate.

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