Legalise Cannabis campaigners are outraged by the harsh sentencing of a man for growing cannabis after the judge had seen TV.
Police arrested 29-year-old Shakuat Ali after they discovered 35 cannabis plants growing at his home in Holly Road, Thornton Lodge last summer. ([url=The Huddersfield Examiner, 28 August 2009)
Prosecutor Paul Nicholson said police also found smaller plants in the attic and recovered growing equipment such as fans, reflective sheeting and scales.
Bradford Crown Court heard that the long-time cannabis user Ali had used a book “Indoor Marijuana Horticulture – the Indoor Bible” to set up his small-scale operation.
Barrister Nicholas Barker, for Ali, stressed that his client had been growing the plants for his own use and he described the operation as small-holding rather than a commercial cannabis farm.
But But Judge Scott told Ali: “You could not have chosen a worst day to come in front of me for sentence.
“Before I came to court this morning I looked at the television screen and there it was that West Yorkshire in 2007 and 2008 was the worst place in the United Kingdom for cannabis farms.”
Legalise Cannabis Alliance (LCA) spokesperson Alun Buffry said: “This is outrageous – I doubt whether the man, Ali, chose the day for his sentence!
“His Honour felt Ali deserved a harsh sentence because of what he had seen on TV about other people, probably not connected with Ali at all?
“So are TV programmes are now allowed to effect sentencing?
“The sentence was used in order to “tell” other cannabis growers that they could be unjustly imprisoned too!
“But did Ali really do any harm?
If not, where is the Justice in this sentence?”