Unpaid bill lands grassman in trouble with law

Cannabis plants
Cannabis plants

More than £4,000 of cannabis was discovered by British Gas workers after they forced entry into a man’s flat over an unpaid bill.

The electricians were about to fit a gas meter in Stephen Pike’s Queen Street flat when they stumbled upon 15 small cannabis plants.

They alerted police who raided the property in Queen Street and discovered heating and lighting systems for cannabis cultivation, as well as a £3,000 stash of amphetamine in Pike’s letterbox.

There was also a small amount of amphetamine in his freezer, which Pike said was for his own use, and 283g of Dextrose - a glucose-based substance which can be mixed with amphetamine to bulk it up and increase profits – was found.

The total street value of all the drugs found came to £7,841.

Pike, 46, appeared at York Crown Court after pleading guilty to producing cannabis, possessing amphetamine with intent to supply, and abstracting electricity at a hearing in September.

He admitted possessing the amphetamine on the basis that he was only keeping it safe for a drug dealer from Middlesrough who supplied him with cannabis.

A ‘Newton’ hearing was held on Monday to determine whether Pike had stashed the amphetamine to selling it on.

Prosecutor Aisha Wadoodi said police raided the flat on March 14, and returned the following day and found 331g of amphetamine.

Pike, an ex-military man, claimed the dealer had asked him to look after the drugs.

But Ms Wadoodi said police also found a dealer’s list in the property with names of people who owed Pike money. They also found weighing scales and a phone containing texts indicating drug deals.

Pike - who has previous convictions for possessing amphetamine with intent to supply - said he had decided to have his first go at cannabis growing for pain relief and to ease his anxiety over a hernia problem and his fear that he had testicular cancer. Judge Davey said he believed that Pike meant to supply the drugs rather than just keep it for the dealer. He adjourned sentence to December 10.