A MAN who helped harvest the plants at a £66,000 cannabis farm has been spared jail.
Pearse Kavanagh was arrested alongside three other people when police raided a property at Dean Road, South Shields, last February after a report of suspicious activity inside. Newcastle Crown Court heard officers found 40 plants, each 2ft high, growing in one of the bedrooms, and a separate “drying room” where 50 more were hanging upside down. There were 114 cuttings, each about 3ins high, in yet another room. Kavanagh, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to production of cannabis. The court heard the 34-year-old confessed during police interview he had been going to the house regularly to look after the plants. During today’s hearing, Kavanagh’s barrister Tony Hawks slammed the fact that only one person has ended up before the courts, despite there being multiple arrests. He said: “There was a total lack of any proper investigation by the police. “For reasons best known to themselves, once they had the defendant making some admissions that he had been involved, it seems their interest in investigating the case properly simply came to an end. “This was even though they had other people linked to the premises. They knew perfectly well whose house this was.” Judge Brian Forster sentenced Kavanagh to 16 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with supervision and 150 hours unpaid work. The judge said: “This was a well-organised cannabis farm.” Mr Hawks said Kavanagh got involved in the illegal enterprise after he ran up a drugs debt.