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Former soldier grew plants to relieve post-trauma pain

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: December 27, 2012

TRIAL: Exeter Crown Court.

TRIAL: Exeter Crown Court.

A FORMER soldier set up a cannabis-growing operation to produce drugs which he took to ease the pain of Gulf War Syndrome.

Guardsman Christopher Tull, 43, turned to cannabis because he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his service in the armed forces, Exeter Crown Court was told.

He was found with enough plants to produce £44,000 worth of the drug but insists the whole operation was set up or his own medication.

He was found with more than 70 plants in three different locations at his smallholding near Beaworthy.

Tull, of Landhill Farm, Ashwater, near Beaworthy, admitted producing cannabis. The case was adjourned for the prosecution to decide whether it will accept claim that he was not selling or sharing the drugs.

Recorder Michael Selfe said a probation pre-sentence report will also be needed.

He said: "From what I have seen there was £730 worth on top of one tent and also bushy plants, 37 plants and 39 plants."

Nick Bradley, for the defence, said: "He has submitted a basis of plea which so far the Crown have not accepted.

"They take the view that to cultivate an amount with such a large potential yield is greater than his personal use.

"We say we are looking at someone growing for their own use and they are looking at whether they think it was a commercial operation for financial reward.

"According to the calculations carried out by the police drugs officer the potential total yield is thought to come to a figure of £44,000.

"He is a former guardsman who is suffering from PTSD and Gulf War Syndrome and my instructions are that he was self-medicating with cannabis to ease the problems he has suffered since leaving the army."

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