POLICE sniffed out a crime after finding cannabis being grown at a South Tyneside house.
Officers had called at the home of Mark Spinks in Hindmarch Drive, Boldon Colliery, on an unrelated matter on Friday, September 13.
But while in the property they detected the smell of cannabis, with their noses leading them to three cannabis plants, cultivated using lighting equipment, in an upstairs room and another plant in a greenhouse in the garden.
Spinks was arrested, and he admitted producing the drugs for his own personal use.
The 31-year-old, now living in Roker Avenue in Roker, Sunderland, pleaded guilty at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court to a charge of producing a Class B controlled drug.
Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said: “On Friday, September 13, police attended an address in Hindmarch Drive on another matter.
“The officers detected the smell of cannabis.
“Spinks was asked about it and admitted he was growing the cannabis.”
Paul Kennedy, defending, said: “He was a social user of cannabis at a much younger age.
“He has matured a lot now and realises it’s not the answer to his problems.
“He uses it now only once or twice a month.
District Judge Helen Cousins told Spinks: “This will turn out to be very expensive for you. I am going to fine you £300, reduced due to your early guilty plea.”
Spinks was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £30.