Medical treatment

Tonbridge’s father claimed cannabis cultivation had to fund his son’s medical treatment

A father claimed he started growing cannabis in the attic of his house to pay for his son’s medical care.

But a judge heard none of the money was ever used to pay for a scan.

Kieron Harris

Now supermarket delivery driver Kieron Harris, 31, has been jailed for 18 months after he was caught growing 36 plants which could have earned him up to £45,000.

In the dock with him at Maidstone Crown Court was ex-partner Charlotte Harris, 28, who has now changed her surname to Brown.

She had admitted allowing her home to be used for the production of the illegal drug and the court heard electricity bills were 10 times higher than normal for the three months.

The judge, Recorder Clive Broe, told Harris: “Drug offenses are not victimless crimes. They cause harm to those who abuse drugs and lead to other crimes and to society. “

He said other families struggle to raise money for medical care without resorting to crime.

The judge said the marriage had broken down since the arrests.

Harris of North Trench Road, Tonbridge, was jailed for 18 months after admitting producing cannabis and possessing criminal property.

Brown, 28, of Bricks Close, Tonbridge, was given a 12-month community order and ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work.

The judge told her, “You were a willing participant, but I accept that you had mental health issues.

Prosecutor Ben Irwin said on June 12, 2020, police stopped a vehicle, driven by Harris, because of a faulty headlight.

Cannabis plants were found growing at the home Library Photo: Kent Police
Cannabis plants were found growing at the home Library Photo: Kent Police

He said: “Officers were immediately overwhelmed by the smell of cannabis. Officers asked what was in the car and Harris replied, ‘A little weed.’

“The vehicle was searched and 21 grams of cannabis were found along with piles of black bags in the back of the car.

“Mr Harris denied the cannabis was his and the car was searched further and in a drawer in the floor was £2,230 cash in £10 and £20 notes.”

Mr Irwin said when police told him they now intended to search his home, he looked ‘shocked and nervous’ before admitting he was growing cannabis there.

He added: “It was commercial growth, albeit on a limited scale. There was also a significant increase in electricity consumption and by March 2020 it had increased tenfold.”

Samantha Davies, for Harris, said: “It was motivated by a desire to privately fund her son’s medical treatment…although that’s no excuse.

“But that’s not the case with a professional criminal.”

Eleanor Lucas, for Brown, said she did not help with the move into the loft and did not benefit financially.”