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Cannabis plants found at former soldier's home

A man caught growing cannabis at his home in Little Wratting has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

Dorian Smyth, 55, was arrested after police discovered 19 cannabis plants under cultivation at an address in Haverhill Road in September 2017.

Ipswich Crown Court heard on Friday that a growing operation with heating and ventilation equipment had been set up in a bedroom.

In a downstairs cupboard officers had also found 4kg of cannabis material which the court heard would have been enough to meet the needs of a heavy user of the drug for three years.

Smyth, a former soldier who had pursued a career as a chemical engineer after leaving the Army, pleaded guilty to an offence of producing cannabis.

Sentencing Smyth, Judge Emma Peters imposed a 16 month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered him to complete 180 hours of unpaid community work.

Judge Peters said she was satisfied that Smyth had only been producing the cannabis or his own use and there had been no intention to profit from it commercially.

Appearing for Smyth, Hugh Vass said his client had intended to only use the cannabis himself and described the growing operation as a “hobby that got out of hand”.