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Former soldier wanted to smoke himself to death

LARGE HAUL: Former soldier Kevin Craig, 53, pleaded guilty to producing 12.4kg of cannabis in his home.
LARGE HAUL: Former soldier Kevin Craig, 53, pleaded guilty to producing 12.4kg of cannabis in his home. Contributed

A MAN caught with more than 12kg of cannabis has told an Ipswich court he wanted to smoke himself to death.

Kevin Craig, 53, and his wife became ill so the former soldier decided he'd need to grow a huge crop in advance in case he became too sick to grow and harvest it.

When police raided his home they found four bedrooms including the bathroom full of plants and dried out cannabis, weighing about 12.4kg in total.

There was never any speculation Craig had sold the drug, with the courts and police accepting he only ever intended to use the drug to "smoke himself to death".

A decent and hardworking bloke, Craig has no criminal history.

He had never even been in a fight before police caught him with the hydro setup.

Craig told officers he had been growing the plants for about six months.

The court was satisfied Craig only grew the drugs were for personal use and he shouldn't be sent to jail.

"I was trying to smoke myself to death," Craig told the court.

Since the offence Craig's wife had suffered a heart attack and his health had suffered as well.

The judge accepted the drugs for were personal use only and Craig had never sold the drugs to other people.

Craig had lung disease and high cholesterol, which inspired him to grow extra drugs just in case he was too sick to grow later.

He pleaded guilty to producing and possessing drugs and utensils, and was sentenced to nine months prison, wholly suspended for two years.

Craig's defence barrister, Scott Neaves, said his client had intended to smoke himself to death and had intended to die because he was so unhappy in life.

"He has serious post traumatic distress syndrome and had been a carer for his wife - he felt hopeless if he wasn't looking after her," Mr Neaves said.

Craig had two friends in court to support him during his sentence.

Topics:  cannabis, drug possession, kevin craig


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