Man admits role in ‘professional’ Hartlepool cannabis farm

Hartlepool Magistrates' Court.
Hartlepool Magistrates' Court.

A man who helped to produce a “professional” cannabis farm at a Hartlepool house said to be worth almost £10,000 has admitted his guilt.

Sean Michael Keenan pleaded guilty to his part in growing 23 cannabis plants when he appeared at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court.

When the police searched the property they found what they described as 23 large cannabis plants

Prosecutor David Lee

The 28-year-old pleaded guilty to one charge of production of a Class B drug in contravention of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

He will be sentenced later at Teesside Crown Court where another man is due to stand trial for his alleged involvement in the same growth.

Prosecutor David Lee said: “The case relates to the growing of cannabis plants, effectively a cannabis farm, at a property occupied by Mr Keenan.

“It was a professional set up.”

The plants were discovered on the second floor of the address by police on October 27 last year.

Mr Lee added: “When the police searched the property they found what they described as 23 large cannabis plants growing.

“There was ventilation pipes running to the loft, lights in the ceiling and fans and the like located around the room.

“The expected yield of drugs from the plants was 998 grams with a street value of just short of £10,000.”

However, District Judge Martin Walker said plants in such cases often do not produce the expected yield of 40 grams per plant.

The court heard Keenan, of Catcote Road, has a previous conviction for production of cannabis dating back to 2009 when he was given a community order.

Regarding the new offence, he told police the drugs were to be for his own personal use and had been coerced into growing them due to a debt he owed.

District Judge Walker transferred the case to the crown court, to be heard on August 1, so both Keenan and the co-defendant are dealt with by the same court.

Keenan was granted bail.