A long-distance Angus trucker who grew a secret stash of cannabis to alleviate medical problems has been placed on a year-long Community Payback Order.
Neil Hutcheson is also facing a £60,000-plus Proceeds of Crime action over the raid on his mini-farm hidden away in a garage at his rural home between Dundee and Glamis.
The 55-year-old, of Lumley Den Cottage, near Tealing appeared for sentence before Sheriff Jillian Martin-Brown at Forfar Sheriff Court having previously admitted producing the drug at his home on March 22 this year.
Hutcheson originally appeared on petition in relation to the offence but the matter was reduced to summary complaint level.
Depute fiscal Stewart Duncan said police arrived at the accused’s house just before 9am having obtained a search warrant.
Hutcheson was not there at the time, but was detained at his work in Forfar and taken to the property.
At the back of the garage officers found two rooms kitted out to grow the drug, containing 13 plants and more than 450 grammes of drying herbal cannabis.
He admitted cultivating the drug for personal use.
Defence solicitor Brian Bell said: “The report before the court indicates his regret and remorse for his actions.
“Due to principally medical reasons, he found the consumption of this particular controlled substance to be a benefit.
“He recognises, as he did at the time, that was wrong and he should have looked for other legal substances to deal with his difficulties.
“There is no suggestion he was involved in supply, although there was originally a charge for that on petition.”
Mr Bell told the court the Crown is seeking a sum totalling £64,000 in a Proceeds of Crime action which is due to be heard later this month.
“That is to be defended,” he added.
“The question for the court is whether a financial penalty, which he can pay, is imposed, or whether the sentence involves supervision, which he accepts may do him the world of good but is something he is not keen to have to do.
“I accept he does not set the agenda and the court will decide the most appropriate outcome in this case.”
Sheriff Martin-Brown told Hutcheson: “While I appreciate there are issues you are reluctant to discuss with social workers, I think long-term you will make some progress with that.”
Hutcheson was made the subject of a year-long CPO with a supervision condition attached.