A drunk who had a cannabis farm worth almost £8,000 in his loft walked free from court with help for his “significant alcohol addiction.”
Alex Thornton (38) was not growing the drug for sale but would have shared it with others and benefitted in the future by supply from the others in return for him giving it to them.
Burnley Crown Court heard how Thornton, who has children, was previously a hard-working family man, but started offending after his relationship broke down. He was said to have now stopped using cannabis, but was still drinking.
The defendant, of Sycamore Avenue, Burnley, admitted producing cannabis, last November. He was given nine months in prison, suspended for two years, with 12 months’ supervision and a year-long alcohol treatment programme.
Miss Cecilia Pritchard (prosecuting) said police received information about cannabis being grown at an address in Sycamore Avenue. There was a strong smell of cannabis and they forced entry after nobody answered the door.
In the loft, officers found a drugs growing set-up, with transformers and lamps. Plants already harvested were being dried and three plants were still growing. The drying plants weighed 656g and the three plants not yet harvested could have produced 131g. The total 787g of the drug could potentially be worth £7,870.
Miss Pritchard said the defendant was questioned and made no comment, but through his basis of plea, admitted he had been involved in cannabis production, the yield would have been to supply himself, but also the enterprise was shared with someone else. Mr Tim Storrie (defending) said he was in the grip of alcohol.
“This defendant has had a catastrophic transition from being a working, family man to being an offender, in the dock of a crown court. He is a whisker away from becoming an isolated drunk.”