Emneth man James Christie grew 19 cannabis plants and tried to blame ex-girlfriend, court heard

James Christie outside King's Lynn Magistrates Court. Picture: Archant

James Christie outside King's Lynn Magistrates Court. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A 27-year-old man grew 19 cannabis plants at his former girlfriend’s house and tried to blame her for it, a court heard.

James Christie of Mill Road, Emneth, pleaded guilty to producing a class B drug, when he appeared before magistrates in King’s Lynn.

Fred Sagoe, prosecuting, said police entered the address looking for Christie for an unrelated matter.

He said police could smell a strong smell of cannabis, which was coming from bedrooms of the property. Police found plants up to 62cm tall, Mr Sagoe added.

Christie was arrested on January 10 this year. The court heard his girlfriend pleaded guilty to the offence at an earlier hearing.

Mr Sagoe said her phone had been seized by police and showed text messages between her and Christie.

He added: “The text messages, the Crown would say, talked about the things the plants needed - feeding and caring.

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“Subsequently, he later gave the explanation he was talking about feeding dogs rather than cannabis plants and that the prosecution got it all wrong.”

Mr Sagoe said a police officer heard a phone conversation where Christie said words to the effect that his girlfriend would “take the rap” and he will be “long gone”.

“When the game was up, he wasn’t able to accept it, trying to blame the girlfriend,” Mr Sagoe added.

Hugh Cauthery, mitigating, said Christie grew the plants for personal use and that he split up from his girlfriend in November last year.

He said Christie kept two french bulldogs at his girlfriend’s house which he has since sold.

Mr Cauthery added: “The texts that were picked up by police, the whole series of other messages from him to her are not taken into account, some of those texts related to the plants and some to the dogs.”

He said Christie spent time in prison earlier this year which has “revolutionised” him, adding: “He is doing good work and that in itself is giving structure in his life which was lacking before.”

Chairman of the bench, Anne Parker, sentenced Christie to prison for 26 weeks, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay £300 court costs and £115 victim surcharge.

Leaving the dock, Christie thanked the bench for giving him another chance.