Pair grew cannabis at home to avoid going out
AGORAPHOBIC brothers grew cannabis plants in their Cardiff home so they could avoid going outside to buy drugs.
“Odd couple” Michael Wilkins, 27, and Thomas Wilkins, 32, were caught after a police officer smelled cannabis while on duty in Adamsdown and noticed condensation on the windows of a nearby house.
When the officer entered the property in Helen Place he questioned the brothers who admitted growing cannabis plants, which included 10 mature plants and 17 juvenile plants kept in a first-floor bedroom and airing cupboard.
They were fed by an irrigation system and there was lighting suspended from the ceiling to generate heat.
The defendants were arrested and both made full admissions in interview. No evidence was found to suggest the brothers were supplying cannabis to others.
They later pleaded guilty to production of a controlled drug of Class B.
A sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court heard on Friday that the brothers, who were described as doing everything together, suffered from agoraphobia and rarely left the house. 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 Lloyd-Clarke said she was persuaded to impose a community order on the two defendants.
She said: “You both quite clearly have serious mental health problems requiring significant treatment.”
Michael Wilkins and Thomas Wilkins, of Helen Place, Adamsdown, Cardiff, 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 electronically-monitored curfew for six weeks and ordered to pay £300 in court costs between them.
The court ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the plants and relevant equipment.
“THE old hometown looks the same,” sang Sir Tom Jones on his version of the county and western classic The Green, Green Grass of Home.And it was those lyrics which the silver-haired singing legend posted on social media this week, accompanied by a famous photo of him as a young man standing on a South Wales hillside overlooking his native Pontypridd.All of which is fuelling speculation that news about a big homecoming gig could be brewing.That’s because the shot, taken by famed snapper Tony Frank for the cover of Sir Tom’s classic 1966 From The Heart album, last served as the printed backdrop on the tickets for the star’s sold-out concert in the Ponty’s Ynysangharad Park back in 2005.If true, it’ll be a nifty rejoinder to the criticism the 78-year-old recently faced when he announced a series of high profile outdoor dates which took him all over the UK and Scotland, but didn’t include any Welsh venues.Sir Tom was also forced to cancel of few of those appearances after being hospitalised with bacterial infection.The Echo has contacted Sir Tom’s management to comment on the speculation and while we wait for a response, fans will have to content themselves with the prospect of first seeing their idol back on our screens in the upcoming new series of The Voice early in the new year. Sir Tom Jones
10 mature plants and 17 young plants were found