A COUPLE’S secret cannabis farm was found when police were called to their home during a row.
Ami Lormor, 25, called officers to her home to remove long-term partner Steven May, 26, while in the middle of a heated argument in January.
Police who responded to the call found the couple’s cannabis farm, containing plants capable of producing up to £4,500 of the drug, growing in the loft.
The couple, who have three children and another on the way, admitted producing cannabis in a bid to pay off their debts.
Prosecutor Michael Bunch told Newcastle Crown Court: “In the loft at the address there was 20-plus female, flowering plants, with three lamps suspended by rope from the ceiling.
“There was an extractor fan and black plastic sheeting to assist the growing process.”
The court heard the couple were both arrested and immediately confessed what they had done.
Mr Bunch said: “They gave similar accounts, that they had got into debt, owing £1,500 or so to Mr May’s parents.
“They decided they would set up a farm as a way of making some money in order to discharge that debt.”
The court heard May had secured the equipment needed to set up the farm at their home in St Cuthbert’s Close, Hetton, while Lormor had cleared the loft and helped with watering and feeding the plants.
Mr Recorder Gargan sentenced Lormor, who has never been in trouble before, to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with a three-month, night-time curfew.
May, who has previous convictions, but none which are drug related, was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with supervision and 250 hours of unpaid work.
The judge said the set-up was a “commercial operation, motivated to pay off debt”.
James Adkin, defending the couple, said it is impossible to know if the plants would be harvested and disposed of successfully and added: “There was a long way to go.”
Mr Adkin said the set-up was a “naïve operation” which the couple deeply regret becoming involved in.
He added: “It was a scheme designed to rid the young couple of debt.”