A BARLASTON man has been spared jail after growing an illegal drug at his girlfriend's home.
Stafford Crown Court heard that Stephen Brown intended to raise money for Christmas by selling some of the cannabis he was growing.
He was standing at the top of the stairs with an electricity cable when officers stumbled on the production unit while looking for someone on behalf of Thames Valley Police.
The 34-year-old scrap metal dealer told officers ‘it’s all mine’ after 15 cannabis plants under cultivation with a hydroponic system inside a silver tent on October 25.
Stafford Crown Court heard the crop matured, it would have produced cannabis with a street value of at least £3,500.
Brown, of Bell Lane, Barlaston admitted producing cannabis. He was given a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years, ordered to do 100 hours unpaid community work and to pay £400 costs.
Recorder Mark Wall QC told him: “You have admitted right from the start your involvement in producing cannabis. A large amount would have been for your own consumption, but there’s an amount you accept you would have supplied to friends to get money for Christmas.”
Paul Hiatt, defending, said Brown would have sold the drug to a small circle of friends. He was a self-employed scrap metal collector struggling for money and having difficulties getting a licence.