Police discover drugs farm in the South Shields home of a cannabis cake baker

A cannabis cake baker put relative values first when his concern for his dad’s wellbeing led to police finding his drugs farm in South Tyneside.
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Anthony Munden, 57, blundered by asking officers for help to open the front door of his home in Hathersage Gardens, Harton Moor, South Shields.

But once inside amid fears for his father, they were met by the overpowering aroma of cannabis, borough magistrates heard.

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Leaf cuttings were found in the kitchen and 60 growing plants were in two upstairs bedrooms on Saturday, November 5, 2022.

However, there was no evidence Munden had been growing for anything but personal use, prosecutor Holly Clegg conceded.

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

She added: “A police officer took Anthony Munden to his home address.

“It was established that he couldn’t gain access at the front and so he was taken to the rear of the property.

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“There were concerns for the welfare of his father who was in the property.

“The officer found numerous cuttings of cannabis leaf in the kitchen.

“Plastic wrapping covered the stairs and when the officer went upstairs, he found two bedrooms with cannabis plants.

“In interview, the defendant confirmed that it was for personal use and said between 12 and 15 plants were fully grown.

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“He also said he did not grow them to make a financial profit. There is no indication of organised crime, there’s no evidence he was part of that.”

Munden, who has four previous convictions from seven offences, including drug possession in 2019, pleaded guilty to a charge of cannabis cultivation.

David Forrester, defending, said: “This came about because he asked the police to attend his home, to find his father.

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“He tells me he has smoked cannabis for most of his life, he has become quite self-sustainable. There isn’t a drugs’ chain.

“He was growing cannabis to bake into cakes to take to make him feel better.

“About 30 plants were male plants and so incapable of producing cannabis at all. He says the plants would have lasted him about two months.

“They were to help him sleep and to deal with his anxiety. This case has been hanging over him for a considerable period."

Due to a legal issue, the case was adjourned to the same court to Wednesday, May 1.