Pair grew cannabis at home to avoid go­ing out

South Wales Echo - - News - PHILIP DEWEY Re­porter philip.dewey@waleson­

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

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