When police raided Ian McConnell’s home in February 2019 he led officers into his sitting room, where there were three tents, containing a total of 21 cannabis plants, at various stages of growth.
Newcastle Crown Court heard more plants were found in the 43-year-old’s bedroom, at Northbourne Road, Jarrow, as well as small quantities of amphetamine and MDMA.
Prosecutor Clare Anderson told the court the plants were examined and had an estimated yield of over a kilo of cannabis.
Miss Anderson said McConnell explained he was “only growing it” and added: “He said he knew it was illegal to grow cannabis.
“He was responsible for erecting tents and tending crop.”
The court heard McConnell has previous convictions for possessing cannabis, more than 15 years ago.
McConnell pleaded guilty to producing a class B drug, possessing a class B drug and possessing a Class A drug.
Christopher Knox, defending, told the court that McConnell has been in no trouble since and has mental health problems.
Mr Knox said McConnell never denied what he had done and has done and added: “This is a man who does need help.”
Judge Penny Moreland sentenced McConnell to eight months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with rehabilitation requirements.
The judge told him: “Police attended your home and at that address they found a functioning cannabis farm with 21 plants, at various stages, and small amounts of amphetamine and MDMA for personal use.
“You admitted the offences to the police.”
Judge Moreland said that McConnell’s jail term could be suspended as he has committed no offences for 15 years, none since the farm was found and has mental health problems.
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