Games tester had £200 a week cannabis habit

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

AMAN who tests com­puter games for a liv­ing ad­mit­ted grow­ing cannabis.

Jonathon Martin Hatch, 34, has the ‘en­vi­ous’ oc­cu­pa­tion of de­vel­op­ing games for the X-Box and Plays­ta­tion, a court heard.

But he spends up to £200 per week on a ‘se­ri­ous’ cannabis habit, mag­is­trates were told.

The ad­dic­tion re­sulted in Hatch buy­ing drugs in bulk and even try­ing to grow it in his own house.

On July 3, Hatch was caught drug driv­ing and in pos­ses­sion of £500 worth of cannabis.

The next day of­fi­cers searched his home and found a small cannabis farm, a court heard.

Hatch, of Chol­monde­ley Street, Mac­cles­field, ad­mit­ted drug driv­ing, pos­ses­sion of cannabis and pro­duc­ing cannabis.

Bev Dob­son, pros­e­cut­ing, said: “On July 3 the de­fen­dant was fol­lowed by po­lice in Knutsford. They pulled him over and saw he had red eyes and he was sweat­ing.

“He ad­mit­ted to hav­ing a ‘spliff’ the night be­fore and ad­mit­ted there was £500 worth of cannabis in the car which was per­sonal use.

“Po­lice found the drugs in the footwell of the car.

“He then told of­fi­cers he was tak­ing the drugs to some­one to make some money, say­ing ‘I’m go­ing down for this aren’t I?’.”

“On July 4, po­lice went to the de­fen­dant’s prop­erty where they found four well de­vel­oped cannabis plants in a bed­room. They also found a black tent, fun­nel into the roof and a wa­ter tank.

“Dur­ing in­ter­view Hatch de­nied deal­ing drugs but claimed it was for per­sonal use. He told po­lice that he had a cannabis prob­lem and was spend­ing up to £200 per week on his habit.”

Sam Fix­ter, de­fend­ing, said Hatch was in a ‘sad sit­u­a­tion’.

He said: “It could sound like he was a drug dealer but he clearly isn’t and po­lice have in­ves­ti­gated him fully.

“He is a se­ri­ous cannabis ad­dict and he has been in a bad place.

“This will have a big im­pact on his life, on his job. His job is a good one, test­ing and de­vel­op­ing com­puter games for X-Box and Plays­ta­tion.

“Many peo­ple would be en­vi­ous.

“The rea­son he had so much cannabis was that he doesn’t like mix­ing with the crim­i­nal­ity that he gets the drugs from or go­ing to those ar­eas, so he buys in bulk to limit his con­tact with them.”

Hatch was given a com­mu­nity or­der for 12 months with 100 hours un­paid work and was banned from driv­ing for 12 months.

●● Kait­lyn Weir is do­ing a para­chute jump for WWF

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