Police uncover cannabis farm in garage belonging to Hartlepool dad who smoked the drug for 20 years

The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.
The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

A dad of four who smoked cannabis for 20 years since he was 14 has finally given it up after police seized his home-grown crop growing in his garage in Hartlepool.

Lee Jenkins told a police raiding party who discovered his 14 plants that he grew it for his own use to cut the costs of his one ounce a week habit.

Jenkins, 34, whose children are aged between four and 20, almost wrecked his marriage with his cannabis addiction, his lawyer told Teesside Crown Court.

Prosecutor Paul Abrahams said that police were sceptical that Jenkins needed 14 plants for personal use.

Stephen Constantine, defending, told the judge: "He is adamant that he never intended and indeed he would never consider supplying cannabis to anybody else.

"He was using an ounce a week and he had been smoking it for 20 years since he was 14.

"His wife is on the front row of the public gallery and It almost ended their marriage, but he has now quit cannabis."

Judge Peter Armstrong told Jenkins: "At the age of 34 it may well be hoped that you would grow up and see sense.

"After all those years you say that you have quit completely.

"Police officers found 14 plants in your garage which you say were for your own use and I sentence you on that basis."

Jenkins, of Raby Road, Hartlepool, was given a 12-month community order and 60 hours unpaid work after he pleaded guilty to the production of a Class B drug cannabis on May 23.

The judge ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the plants and equipment.