Plumber facing jail after cannabis farm sprung a leak

Hepscott Terrace where cannabis farm was found
Hepscott Terrace where cannabis farm was found

A plumber is facing prison after his cannabis farm leaked water into the flat below causing the ceiling to collapse.

Glen Anderson was living in a rented first floor flat in Hepscott Terrace, South Shields, when he set up a cannabis farm in his spare bedroom.

Hepscott Terrace

Hepscott Terrace

The tenant in the flat below complained of a minor leak which Anderson said was caused by a radiator which he would repair.

But the leak became much worse, South Northumbria Magistrates’ Court heard.

“The downstairs tenant had no option but to contact the landlord,” said Clare Irving, prosecuting.

“She looked after the flat on behalf of her brother who lives in Canada.

“She contacted Mr Anderson, but he was unable to get back to the property quickly from work.

“The landlady gained entry and found a cannabis farm in a spare bedroom, so she called the police.”

The court heard officers found a fully operational cannabis farm, including 31 large plants.

“There was a full irrigation and venting system,” said Ms Irving. “The plants were mature and ready to be harvested.

“A vent had been cut into the ceiling and an extractor fan fitted.

“The estimated cash yield from the plants was between £9,300 and £12,400.

“When interviewed, Anderson said he was a cannabis user who had decided to try growing his own for personal use.

“He said he’d researched how to do it on the internet, and bought much of the equipment online.

“Because it was his first time, he said he decided to grow plenty of plants because he didn’t know how well they would do.”

The court heard Anderson conceded he should have known the system might leak because ‘there was a lot of hosepipes and water up there’.

Anderson, 30, now of St Vincent Street, South Shields, admitted producing a class B drug, and two offences of criminal damage, both on March 14 this year.

He was of previous good character.

Ms Irving told the bench they might think their sentencing powers of six months were insufficient due to the number of plants.

Charles Carr, defending, said he had no representations to make.

The magistrates declined jurisdiction and ordered the case to be sent to Newcastle Crown Court.

Anderson was bailed to attend Newcastle Crown Court to be sentenced on January 10.