Cannabis grower is spared jail

A man who set up a mini cannabis factory in a bedroom at his Alfreton home has been spared jail.

Police with a drugs search warrant raided the property in Haddon Close on July 1 and found eight plants in a rear bedroom.

Helen Griffiths, prosecuting, told Chesterfield magistrates that all walls were lined with foil to retain heat and the plants were served by heat lamps, transformers and timed extractor fans.

“All plants were showing signs of flowering and they had a potential street value of £960,” said Mrs Griffiths. Cannabis bush worth about £25 was found drying in the living room. Amber Hankin (31) said she planned to smoke it.

Darrall Hankin (33) told police he set up the cultivation system for £100 and nurtured the plants. “He said they were both cannabis users and it had recently become very expensive to buy, so he decided to grow it himself. He said they smoked about four spliffs a day and he had no intention of selling the cannabis to anyone,” added Mrs Griffiths.

Amber Hankin admitted possessing cannabis and was fined £81, with £85 costs. Darrall Hankin admitted producing cannabis. The justices had warned he could be locked up after hearing he had a previous conviction for a similar offence six years ago.

But they decided instead to impose 100 hours unpaid work, with £85 costs. The drugs, plants and equipment will be destroyed. “They were using about £10 worth of cannabis a day and he grew the plants because they couldn’t afford to keep buying it,” said Andrew Hollis, in mititgation.

“Both are saying they have a drug problem and they are ready to deal with it. “