Ex champion avoids jail

FORMER speedway world champion Michael Lee avoided a jail term after he admitted growing £3,000 worth of cannabis at his Suffolk home.Ipswich crown court accepted that the drug was produced for his own consumption as a “heavy” user of the class C drug.

FORMER speedway world champion Michael Lee avoided a jail term after he admitted growing £3,000 worth of cannabis at his Suffolk home.

Ipswich crown court accepted that the drug was produced for his own consumption as a “heavy” user of the class C drug.

Ian Pells, prosecuting, said the drugs and equipment needed to grow them were found during a raid on Lee's home in Freckenham Road, Worlington near Mildenhall on February 15.

But despite the large quantity found, Mr Pells said the prosecution accepted it had been for Lee's personal use.


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“He is a heavy cannabis user and we accept he was not growing this for anyone else,” he said.

Simon Spence, for Lee, said his client had relied on large amounts of cannabis for many years and was determined not to get involved in the drugs business.

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“He grows his own cannabis for his own use and no one else's. That was a year's supply with a value of about £3,000,” he said.

Lee, 49, rode for the Kings Lynn Stars in the early 1980s and was one of the sport's new breed of superstars, becoming the first British world champion for many years.

However cannabis has blighted his life and he has several drugs convictions.

Judge John Holt ordered him to complete 160 hours of unpaid work and ordered him to pay £55 prosecution costs.

He warned that if the prosecution had thought he had grown cannabis for other users, a prison sentence would have been almost inevitable.

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