Cannabis farmer gets 18 months

A MAN who was spared prison for growing cannabis has been jailed after he was caught doing the same thing in a matter of months.

Keith Robinson was jailed for 18 months at Teesside Crown Court after police found him cultivating 23 plants at his home in Jowitt Road, Hartlepool.

The 32-year-old had been spared immediate jail less than four months earlier after he admitted growing 18 cannabis plants.

Describing the latest find on December 6 last year, Sue Jacobs, prosecuting, said; “Police attended Jowitt Road to arrest the defendant.

“On arrival, the smell of cannabis was apparent, and when asked about it he said he had a few plants growing in an upstairs bedroom.

“In fact, 23 plants were recovered along with 193 cuttings.

“The electricity meter had also been bypassed.”

Police put the potential value of the eventual drugs at £9,200.

The court heard Robinson was growing the cannabis for someone else to pay off a drug debt.

He admitted production of a Class B drug, abstracting electricity and possession of a small amount of cannabis.

Robinson was warned to keep out of trouble for two years when he was given a nine-month suspended prison sentence last August.

Robin Denny, mitigating, said: “The extent of the operation is not particularly large, but obviously a matter of significance is the fact that only some months before he was given a suspended sentence, therefore it is impossible to argue against a prison sentence.”

He added Robinson first started taking cannabis when he was just 11 before moving onto other drugs, but had recently cut back on his use.

Sentencing, Judge Gillian Matthews said: “This court gave you a chance, and on December 6 police found that you were doing exactly the same thing with even more plants.

“This has to stop. This is not a way of saving money or paying off debts, or conspiring with others in the drugs chain.”

l IN another case, Stephen Greig, 34, was given a suspended sentence for growing 23 cannabis plants.

Police uncovered a small cannabis farm at a house in Queensland Road, Hartlepool, on July 28 last year.

Teesside Crown Court heard Greig, of Grasmere Street, Hartlepool, agreed to the operation because he was £600 in debt and faced losing his home.

He admitted production of a Class B drug and abstracting electricity.

He was given six months prison, suspended for 18 months, with probation supervision and 150 hours unpaid work.