South Shields cannabis farmer jailed after water from his plants leaked into flat below

Lee Robertson.
Lee Robertson.

A cannabis farmer was caught after water from his plants leaked into the flat below.

Lee Robertson, 35, was jailed by magistrates, who heard he was in breach of a previous suspended sentence.

Glenda Black, prosecuting, told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court: “Police were called to a flat in Marshall Wallis Road, in South Shields, due to a persistent water leak. Officers broke

into the property to deal with the running water.

“Once inside the premises, they found a small cannabis farm in the loft. There were 12 plants in a tent, and eight in a wooden construction.

“Also in the flat was some cannabis bush, and some white powder, which was later found to be amphetamine.”

The court heard Robertson told police he had bought cannabis seeds over the internet.

Ms Beck added: “He said he paid £40 for the seeds from a foreign website.

“His idea was to save money by growing his own cannabis, rather than pay dealers, which he said were costing him £30 or £40 a day.”

Robertson, 35, of Marshall Wallis Road, South Shields, admitted producing a Class B drug and possessing a Class B drug, both on April 2.

Kevin Smallcombe, defending, said: “Mr Robertson takes cannabis for pain relief from pain caused by a trapped nerve and arthritis.

“The cannabis was strictly for his own use, there is no evidence he was dealing, or part of a chain.

“His motivation was to save the money he was paying to dealers.”

Robertson was jailed for 16 weeks, including 12 weeks of his previous suspended sentence, and he was ordered to pay £115 costs.