A would-be handyman showed his gardening skills by growing cannabis in his bedroom.
Police found 24 plants which were still growing and 34 harvested plants in a cupboard in a house occupied by John Mason in Loch Grove, Hartlepool.
Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard Mason had bought the growing equipment online and had previously been cautioned by police for a similar offence.
“There was also associated growing equipment,” said Rachael Dodsworth, prosecuting.
“Mason said he had bought the equipment online, and was growing the plants for his own use.
“There was no evidence of any dealing so it is accepted the cannabis was for personal use.”
Mason, 38, of Shrewsbury Street, Hartlepool, admitted producing a Class B drug on March 2, last year.
He had no previous convictions, but was cautioned by the police for a similar offence.
Callan Terry, defending, said: “There were traumatic events in Mr Mason’s childhood which left him with mental health problems.
“He has now sought appropriate help with those difficulties.
“As part of his efforts to get his life back on track, Mr Mason hopes to start a business as a handyman.
“He is currently on employment support allowance of £200 a fortnight.”
District Judge Timothy Capstick sentenced Mason to a community order of 12 months, 15 rehabilitation activity days, and ordered him to pay £175 in fines and costs.
The judge told Mason: “You now have a criminal record which you did not have before.
“Be under no illusion that if there was any suggestion you were selling cannabis to others you would be going straight to prison.
“At this stage, the best approach is to offer you some probation assistance so that the court doesn’t see you again.”
The drugs and growing equipment was confiscated and magistrates ordered for it to be destroyed.