South Shields man set up cannabis farm in bedroom of his home to save spending £30 a day on the drug

A South Tyneside man set up his own cannabis farm on a bedroom at his South Shields home.

Thursday, 5th September 2019, 16:45 pm
Updated Friday, 6th September 2019, 10:45 am

Paul Michael Reed, 37, admitted producing a controlled drug and a charge of diverting electricity when he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Police discovered the small operation when they visited Reed's home in Commercial Street, South Shields, in April this year.

Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said the cannabis farm of 14 plants was found in an upstairs bedroom of the property.

The case was dealt with at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

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It was also discovered that there had been an illegal bypass of the electricity.

She said Reed told police that he decided to set up his own production of the drug for his own use in a bid to save money.

He said he was spending up to £30 a day on the drug, so by spending £500 on equipment and by passing the electricity so it was free, he could produce his own.

The court heard that Reed, who is a full-time carer to his wife, had since had to pay £500 for the use of the electricity.

Kevin Smallcombe, defending, said Reed was not growing the drug to supply it, it was purely for his own use.

He said: "There is nothing sophisticated, nothing carefully planned or organised about this.

"He is a bit embarrassed about the whole thing, he shouldn't have been doing it."

The court heard that the dad-of-two no longer uses the drug.

Reed was given a 12-month community order with 120 hours unpaid work, £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.