Landlord’s horror as police reveal Hartlepool house used for drugs farm

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A WOMAN who rented out a house was horrified when police showed her that it had been turned into a cannabis farm.

They called her out after they found that the front panel of the door in Derby Street, Hartlepool, had been kicked in, Teesside Crown Court was told yesterday.

Prosecutor Jenny Haigh said that the owner told police that she had rented it to David Turner, 26, and it was considerably damaged.

Miss Haigh added: “She said that she was absolutely dumbfounded to see that the carpets were ruined because soil and fertiliser had been dumped in the front bedroom, and an aluminium ventilator pipe had been forced through the ceiling tiles.”

There were 27 cannabis plants, which a police expert said were worth £12,900 for a single crop, and three crops a year would have produced four kilos worth £38,700.

Miss Haigh said “The Crown’s view is that this is a commercial production.”

Turner had previous convictions for benefits offences.

Ian Hudson, mitigating, said Turner and his partner both had massive cannabis habits, and Turner’s began when he was 11.

He had a major operation on his spine in 2011 when he was hospitalised for two months, and his cannabis intake escalated massively.

Mr Hudson added: “He used a quarter of an ounce a day, and his girlfriend also has a massive habit.

“If one divides the total by number of days we would say it was a personal stock.”

Judge Guy Whitburn said: “Well he had better lose it.

“Smoking that amount of cannabis, it will be a drug-induced psychosis.”

He told Parker: “There are no dealer records or anything of that nature, and I have to sentence you on the basis that you were producing 27 plants, and whatever the ultimate destinations for those plants are, only you would know.”

Parker, of Brus Corner, Hartlepool, was given a 12-months jail sentence suspended for two years, 100-hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £659 compensation to the house owner after he pleaded guilty to producing cannabis on December 13 last year and criminal damage.