Bungling pals caused butane explosion and £4,000 damage bill after 'ludicrous' plot to make their own cannabis oil

Kane Scobie

Kane Scobie

Two pals caused a butane explosion that left a £4,000 damage bill when they hatched a "ludicrous" plot to make their own cannabis oil.

Kane Scobie, 19, and Nathan Downs, 20, conducted a DIY experiment at a house in a residential street involving the highly flammable gas.

Nathan Downs

Nathan Downs

The pair opened a few windows as the only safety precaution for the dangerous procedure.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the bungling duo froze a batch of cannabis leaves in the gas and wedged them between two sheets of glass.

When complications arose, they then drafted in a lighter to defrost the glass - which caused an explosion when the flame came into contact with the gas.

Fire and smoke damage amounting to £4,000 was caused to Scobie's local authority home, where the experiment was conducted.

Both men pleaded guilty to arson and cannabis production.

Scobie admitted 12 cannabis plants found growing at the flat were his.

Miss Recorder Jo Kidd gave both men suspended prison sentences.

The judge told them: "This was capable of causing significant injury to yourselves or even to others and represent a ludicrous and foolish way of dealing with cannabis that this court has ever heard before.

"On that day you decided to conduct experiments in order to seek to produce cannabis oil from cannabis leaves that were in your possession.

"What you did was to use butane in order to try and freeze the leaves.

"When complications arose, without any regard to common sense, you used a lighter to seek to unfreeze the glass in which the leaves were situated.

"The result was an immediate explosion, which would have been obvious to anyone with any common sense.

"The damage cost the local authority £4,000 to repair."

The judge said the men created a danger to themselves, the emergency services and the public.

Scobie, of no fixed address, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with supervision, programme requirements and 120 hours unpaid work.

Downs, of Toward Road, Sunderland, was sentenced to 12 months behind bars, suspended for 18 months.

Defence barristers said both men have stayed out of trouble since the botched experiment last year.