Drug farmer used coffee to hide smell of cannabis

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A CANNABIS farmer used the smell of coffee in a bid to avoid the discovery of his plants.

Police found coffee beans roasting on a hotplate next to 40 cannabis plants in a house in Braithwaite Road, Peterlee, Durham Crown Court heard.

“I don’t think the occupier was trying to sell the house,” said Sean Dodds, prosecuting.

“Rather he was trying to mask the aroma of the cannabis.

“There had been complaints in the past from nearby residents.

“The plants were drying, and while 40 is a lot for personal use, the police found no evidence of dealing.”

Grandfather John Wilkinson, 38, of Braithwaite Road, admitted producing a class B drug, and abstracting electricity costing £686, both on June 11.

The court was told he has previous convictions, but none for drugs offences.

Ron Mitchell, defending, said he had no money, was living with his girlfriend after he was evicted and was paying back the electricity bill.

Judge Christopher Prince sentenced Wilkinson to a 12-month supervision order, and a three-month curfew.