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Man set up cannabis farm after police drugs raid

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A SOUTH Tyneside man grew cannabis plants in his home after finding the equipment in a skip after a police raid nearby, a court heard.

Magistrates in South Tyneside heard 15 cannabis plants were found at John Bainbridge’s home in South Crescent, Boldon Colliery, during a search by police on Saturday, September 7.

Officers were at the address for an unrelated matter when they discovered the plants in an upstairs room.

The 39-year-old pleaded guilty to a charge of producing the Class B controlled drug at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court earlier this month.

The case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report to be completed on Bainbridge.

When he returned to court, he was handed a 12-month community order.

Paul Doney, prosecuting, said: “On September 7, police went to the defendant’s address for an unrelated matter.

“During a search of the house they found 15 small cannabis plants, each in individual pots in an upstairs room.

“The windows were blacked out and there was a halogen light, which is used for the growing of the cannabis, suspended from the ceiling.

“He was arrested and admitted the offence, saying the cannabis was for his own personal use.”

Geoffrey Forrester, defending, said Bainbridge had come across the growing equipment in a skip after a police raid at a house nearby.

He had then devised an “unsophisticated” bid to grow his own cannabis.

Mr Forrester said: “He found the equipment in a skip.

“Police had raided a nearby property and the equipment had been taken out of the house by police and deposited in a skip.

“He came upon it, removed it from the skip and took advantage of the opportunity to attempt to grow his own cannabis.

“It was not sophisticated and the cannabis was not of any high value.”

Dr Theresa Waring, chairman of the magistrates, handed Bainbridge a 12-month community order, with a nine-month drug rehabilitation requirement.

He was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £60.

An order was made for the destruction of the cannabis-growing equipment.

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