Forged bank notes found among drugs and cannabis plants in Hetton home

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FORGED notes were discovered in the house of a man arrested for cannabis offences, a court was told.

Officers discovered seven fake bank notes at the Hetton home of Paul Colin Patton.

They also found cannabis resin and a number of plants.

Patton admitted two offences of possessing cannabis, but denied an offence under the Forgery Act.

However, the 27-year-old was found guilty after trial at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court earlier this month and sentenced for all three offences on Friday.

Police found 17 rooted cuttings of cannabis plants at his home in Lions Lane, on November 28 last year.

They also uncovered four mature plants, four harvested plants and various growing equipment in different rooms.

Mitigating, Trish Mytton said the forgery trial had been based on interpretation of the legislation, rather than Patton denying he had the notes.

“There is no indication he tried to pass them off, or intended to,” she said.

“There was no indication they were linked with the other offences, but that they were found in the house at the same time.

“There were some plants found in the bedroom that were barely alive.”

She added that Patton hoped to be working soon, as he had a trial for a job at Nissan.

District Judge Roger Elsey told him: “It is an aggravating feature of this case that you are producing cannabis in a house in which children live.

“That means the offence is so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified.

“Given that you have a job to start, the sentence can be suspended.”

Patton was given a 12-week prison sentence for possession of cannabis, and eight weeks for the forgery offence to run concurrently.

Both sentences were suspended for 12 months.

Patton was also ordered to pay a £200 contribution towards court costs,

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