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Agoraphobic brothers grew drugs so they didn

Agoraphobic brothers grew cannabis plants in their Cardiff home so they could avoid going outside to buy drugs.

“Odd couple” Michael Wilkins, 27, and Thomas Wilkins, 32, were caught after a police officer smelled cannabis while on duty in Adamsdown and noticed condensation on the windows of a nearby house.

When the officer entered the property in Helen Place he questioned the brothers who admitted growing cannabis plants, which included 10 mature plants and 17 juvenile plants kept in a first-floor bedroom and airing cupboard.

They were fed by an irrigation system and there was lighting suspended from the ceiling to generate heat.

The defendants were arrested and both made full admissions in interview. No evidence was found to suggest the brothers were supplying cannabis to others.

They later pleaded guilty to production of a controlled drug of Class B.

A sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court heard on Friday that the brothers, who were described as doing everything together, suffered from agoraphobia and rarely left the house.

Defence barrister Steven Donoghue, representing Michael Wilkins, said: “They are an odd couple – they are reclusive in nature and that’s what led them to start growing this product rather than going out to engage with the criminal fraternity.”

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Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke said she was persuaded to impose a community order on the two defendants.

She said: “You both quite clearly have serious mental health problems requiring significant treatment.”

Michael Wilkins and Thomas Wilkins, of Helen Place, Adamsdown, Cardiff, were both sentenced to a 12-month community order and to undertake a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

They were also made subject to an electronically-monitored curfew for six weeks and ordered to pay £300 in court costs between them.

The court ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the plants and relevant equipment.

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