A SANDWICH business owner was caught growing thousands of pounds worth of cannabis, a court heard.
When police arrived at Daniel Smith’s home in Gorsey Lane, Litherland, no one was in, but in an insecure garage they found decomposing cannabis plants and an electric fan.
They forced their way into the house and found a hydroponic system for cultivating the class B drug and at least 64 cannabis plants.
David Evans, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that the plants had a potential yield worth £9,200 and could have produced a further four crops that year.
Smith, 44, later voluntarily went to a police station and was arrested.
“He said he had been addicted to cannabis for some years and the plants had been grown by him for his personal use.”
Mr Evans told the court that Smith’s explanation had been accepted by the CPS.
Smith pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis and possessing the drug.
Judge Gerald Clifton said it was not necessary to impose an immediate jail term and sentenced Smith to 36 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years.
He also ordered him to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and to pay £250 prosecution costs.
Charles Lander, defending, said that Smith, who has previous convictions, had bought the equipment from Amsterdam via the internet a few weeks before his arrest.
“He is adamant he never knew it (the cannabis) was worth as much as it was,” he said.
By Steve Orme, Crosby Herald