A family man who lost his job turned to cannabis farming to make money.
Teesside Crown Court hears David Tose ‘couldn’t see a way through Christmas’ after being laid off from his job as a steel fabricator.
Paul Newcombe, prosecuting, said: “Police were called to his home when a 999 call was made about an unrelated matter and, while on the premises, noticed a light from an attic room shining through the ceiling.
“Further investigation found 34 cannabis plants in early stages of growth, and some unsophisticated growing equipment.
“When interviewed, Mr Tose said he had lost his job, and had taken to growing cannabis as a means of making money to buy Christmas presents.
Tose, 53, of Oxford Road, Hartlepool, admitting producing a class B drug on October 8, last year.
He has a previous conviction for the same offence.
Stephen Constantine, defending, said: “As Mr Tose told police, he had lost his job and he couldn’t see a way through Christmas. He decided to do a stupid thing which he had done once before, grow cannabis.
“It was not a sophisticated operation, he bought some seeds and a heat lamp off the internet.
“Ironically, two weeks after his arrest he obtained another job making brake pads which pays about £2,000 a month.”
Judge Simon Bourne-Arton sentenced Tose to nine months in prison, suspended for two years.
He was ordered to pay £750 costs at £200 a month.