Yorkshire car salesman avoids jail after admitting drugs charge

  • Wakefield car salesman admits growing 21 cannabis plants in a house
  • Owen Simmonds narrowly avoids jail term with judge instead opting for a suspended sentence
  • Judge Christopher Batty tells car dealer he takes a ‘dim view’ on those who grow or supply drugs

Time 8:06 am, November 14, 2022

A car salesman has avoided jail after admitting to growing large amounts of cannabis at a house in Yorkshire.

Owen Simmonds, 31, pleaded guilty to growing 21 cannabis plants at a property in Horbury, Wakefield, in May 2020.

While few details were given about the case at Leeds Crown Court, it was revealed that Simmonds works as a car salesman at a local dealership.

No mitigation was given in his defence and the car dealer was given a dressing down from judge Christopher Batty.

He was warned that the crime was serious enough to land him in prison with the judge telling him he took a ‘dim view’ of those who grow and deal drugs.

However, an exception was made after a female defendant got away with a £500 fine last month for allowing the premises to be used to grow the plants.

Simmonds was given a nine-month sentence, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay court costs, the Yorkshire Evening Post reports.

Judge Batty said: ‘I do not like cannabis….I do not mean my own personal consumption, I have never tried it.

‘It’s dangerous. It’s not good for people. I know people and have heard stories in this court, particularly youngsters, in which it has affected their mental health.

‘I take a dim view on those who grow or supply it, but I can take an exceptional course in this case.

‘It does cross the custody threshold. It’s a determined attempt to break the law.’

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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