A MAN who converted the upstairs of his girlfriend’s home into a cannabis farm has been jailed.
Officers found illegal plants growing in two bedrooms and a bathroom during a raid at Lambton Drive, Hetton, in September 2011.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the various crops, totalling more than 100 plants, were at different stages of growth.
Kenneth Musgrave, who lived at the property with his then girlfriend, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis on the basis they had been “put under pressure” by others to set up the enterprise.
Judge John Milford jailed the 34-year-old for 12 months.
The judge said: “Police attended the house in Houghton where you were living at the time with the tenant, who was your girlfriend, and they found a cannabis farm covering the upstairs of the house.
“There has to be, in this case, an effective sentence of imprisonment.”
The court heard Musgrave’s then-girlfriend has been dealt with by the courts for allowing her premises to be used for drugs.
Prosecutor Sarah Mallett told the court the farm was equipped with special lighting, fans, chemicals and food.
A batch of 34 plants growing in one bedroom would have produced a yield of just over 1.3 kilos, worth £4,760 on the streets.
Miss Mallett said: “The prosecution case is this was an operation which was capable of commercial production.”
Prosecutors accept Musgrave and his partner would not have benefited from any proceeds from the farm and that others were behind the operation.
Graham O’Sullivan, defending, told the court Musgrave now lives with a different partner and children and is determined to stay out of trouble.
Mr O’Sullivan said: “He is moving in a positive direction in his life.”
Musgrave, now of Ayrshire, Scotland has convictions for a variety of offences, mostly involving motor vehicles.