A PIPE inspector has escaped jail after being caught with a cannabis farm in his home.
Lee Moore, who works for Tata Steel, in Hartlepool, cultivated the mini drugs haul in his Catcote Road home.
Police received information about the 41-year-old’s class B drugs stash and went to the house to investigate.
Prosecuting, John Garside told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court: “Police attended Catcote Road after receiving information about a cannabis farm there.
“There were 14 plants and three lengths of wire on which cannabis seemed to be drying out.
“The defendant was arrested and he admitted that the 14 plants and dried out amount of cannabis was his and his alone.”
He said: “it was becoming expensive to heat and light therefore he arranged for someone to by-pass the electricity and that had been in place for two months.”
Moore pleaded guilty to production of cannabis on April 28.
Mitigating, Bill Davison said: “My client was the only one involved with the cannabis, no-one else.
“The cannabis was for his own use. People who come before you who are doing this professionally have certain things like scales, bags for putting deals in, large quantities of cash and mobile phones for contacting other people.
“None of this was present here.
“It was for his own use.”
Probation officer Sharon Rogers told the court that Moore had started using the drug following the death of his father and grandfather back in 2011, before he suffered a heart attack in 2012.
She said: “He’s quite petrified of today’s situation.”
Chairman of the bench Doreen Goode sentenced Moore to four-months imprisonment suspended for 18 months.
She also ordered him to pay £85 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.