Mum left trail of cannabis leaves leading to her home when trying to get rid of plants
Her solicitor said there was a ‘lack of sophistication’ in her drug-growing operation
Hapless Louise Palethorpe left a trail of evidence when she turned over a new leaf and stopped growing cannabis, a court heard.
With the help of another woman, she dragged cannabis plants through the streets of St Ann’s, across a roundabout and up to a skip shortly after midnight.
But their journey was captured on CCTV and there was also a line of leaves heading back to Palethorpe’s home on Cranmer Walk.
Chris Wall, mitigating, told city magistrates: “It was almost comical about the way the police found the evidence.
“They saw CCTV footage of two ladies dragging cannabis plants through the streets, across roundabouts and discarded the plants in skips.
“Police officers attend and follow the trail of leaves back to Mrs Palethorpe’s home.”
He said she had eight plants but dropped plans to cultivate them before they produced a crop.
“She is not a particularly heavy cannabis user, if at all, and decided simply to throw the plants away.
“While I don’t want to minimise the criminality, there is a lack of sophistication in this whole operation. The crop was being produced solely for her own use,” said Mr Wall.
He told the court Palethorpe had “not had an easy life” but now has a stable address, sharing a home with her grown-up children.
She admitted producing eight cannabis plants on May 9 last year and was fined £120. She must also pay £85 prosecution costs and £30 government tax.
Daniel Pietryka, prosecuting, said Palethorpe spent £500 on equipment to help the plants’ growth.
“She said she wanted extra cash for her son’s 21st birthday and did her research on the internet,” he said.
Magistrates ordered the destruction of the drugs and the growing equipment, which includes lights and watering devices.
Presiding JP Andrew Walden told her: “Given your age and criminal record, you should stop offending and appearing in court. It seems a good idea.”