Sick wife’s carer is spared jail time

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

A Doncaster cannabis grower was spared jail after a judge was told he was the sole carer for his sick wife.

Maurice Crabtree, aged 61, took to ‘gardening’ cannabis for others at his home to make money when his family hit hard times.

James Gould, defending, said he was a hard-working and devoted husband and had formerly run a successful coal delivery business.

He had since retrained as a nursing assistant and helped those with brain injuries, with his work taking him up and down the country.

But in 2010 he lost his driving licence and his employer provided him with more local work but that dwindled and he ended up on Jobseekers’ Allowance.

His wife had an operation to remove a tumour in February and he needed to care for her at their home in Mayfield Crescent, New Rossington.

Prosecutor Brian Outhwaite said police raided the home on February 19 and found cannabis growing equipment in the loft.

Crabtree told police he watered and fed the 14 plants and others had installed the equipment for him. He had received £1,100 for growing a previous crop. Crabtree admitted producing a Class B drug.

Judge Roger Keen told him at Sheffield Crown Court: “The only reason you are not going to prison now is because of the state of your wife’s health.”

He said Crabtree was the only person to care for her but added: “Let’s face it, you turned to criminality to make money.”

He was given a 12-month jail term suspended for two years, and ordered to do 300 hours of unpaid work.