Ex-racing driver grew cannabis

A DRUG user spared a jail term for growing cannabis at home has been sent to prison after he was caught cultivating the illegal plants again.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 17th October 2012, 6:26 pm

Rickalee Hall, 48, grew 26 cannabis plants in his house on Oakdale Road, North Anston, a year after he was given a suspended sentence for producing exactly the same quantity.

Sheffield Crown Court heard the mechanic and former racing driver claimed he used the drug to relieve pain caused by injuries suffered in a bad car accident.

Jailing Hall for six months, Judge Simon Lawler QC told him: “When police came to your home they found yet another cannabis set-up which you funded. It was fairly sophisticated.”

“There’s a flagrant breach of a suspended sentence.”

Nicholas Neal, prosecuting, said the original cannabis was discovered when Hall was evicted from his old house on School Road, Wales, in January last year.

Some of the 26 plants were 3ft high, and could have produced more than four kilos of drugs in total.

Hall was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 200 hours of unpaid work.

Mr Neal said police searched Oakdale Road on 30th May this year and plants were found in three places.

A mother plant was discovered under the stairs, and 12 plants were growing under lights on the first floor landing.

Dermot Hughes, defending, said: “The cannabis he was producing was entirely for his personal use. It was never his intention to produce a large amount.”

Hall started using cannabis aged 15, Mr Hughes told the court.

He said: “He was at one time competing at quite a high level within the motor racing industry, but suffered a very bad accident in which he sustained quite serious injuries to his back.”

“Since that time he has been trying to control his pain.”

He added: “To a large extent he self-medicated with cannabis.”

But Judge Lawler said: “I can’t pass over this particular matter. You were warned and I’m afraid that warning has come home to roost.”