Court order bans Welsh man from his own garden shed

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Simon Redclift and his shed

There are plenty of households where one partner spends an inordinate amount of time in the garden shed, but in one home in Dinas Powys, the man of the house was banned from his shed - by a judge.

But why? And what tends to happen to a man in his position?


Banned

Simon Redclift, a 53-year-old father from Sir Ivor Place in Dinas Powys, was banned from his shed because he had been growing cannabis in it. He admitted that he was growing cannabis in there, with intent to supply. According to the Mirror, he said liked to hang out in his shed, watching The Blue Planet on DVD and smoking cannabis.

Before sentencing, the Judge adjourned proceedings for seven days, to give Redclift's lawyers time to find an argument why the shed should not be dismantled. In the interim, because Redclift was on bail, one condition of his bail was that he was not allowed inside the shed.

However, according to the BBC, instead he chose to dismantle the shed and burn it. Last week, the judge gave him a 32-week jail term, suspended for two years. He was ordered to wear a tag during the overnight curfew.

Is this usual?

The shed ban was the only unusual thing about the sentence. Those who are caught cultivating the drug can be sentenced to anything from a fine to a low level community order to six years in prison. The range is enormous and depends on a large number of things, including how much they are growing, whether it was intended for personal use, and previous convictions - among other things.
It's likely that the intent to supply and his five former cannabis cultivation convictions will not have worked in his favour.

The cultivation of cannabis is a growing business in the UK. Over the last two years the police have seized 1 million marijuana plants, with an estimated value of over £200 million. Between April 2011 and April 2012, the number of farms increased 15%.

A UK National Problem Profile report found that increasingly these farms are based in people's homes. And there have been several cases that have hit the headlines recently. There was the Metropolitan Police officer caught growing cannabis in his loft last summer, the Welsh former judo competitor fined for growing cannabis to ease his arthritis this May - after seeing it on a storyline in Coronation Street. And there was the Hull man who was given a community service order last August, because his attempt to grow the plants was so poor it was unlikely to have yielded any of the drug.

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