Agoraphobic men grew drug to avoid going out
CARDIFF Agoraphobic brothers grew cannabis plants in their home so they could avoid going outside to buy drugs. Michael Wilkins, 27, and Thomas Wilkins, 32, were caught after a police officer on duty smelled cannabis and noticed condensation on the windows of a nearby house. When the officer entered the property in Helen Place, Adamsdown, he questioned the brothers who admitted growing cannabis plants, which included 10 mature plants and 17 juvenile plants. No evidence was found to suggest the brothers were supplying cannabis. They later pleaded guilty to production of a Class B drug. A sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court heard on Friday that the brothers suffered from agoraphobia. Defence barrister Steven Donoghue, representing Michael Wilkins, said: “They are an odd couple – they are reclusive in nature and that’s what led them to start growing this product rather than going out to engage with the criminal fraternity.” Judge Tracey Lloydclarke said: “You both quite clearly have serious mental health problems requiring significant treatment.” The pair were both sentenced to a 12-month community order and to undertake a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement. They were also made subject to an electronicallymonitored curfew for six weeks and ordered to pay £300 in court costs between them.