Woman had drug farm in spare room after getting into debt at Christmas

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A WOMAN who allowed her spare bedroom to be turned into a cannabis farm after being leaned on by loan sharks has been spared jail.

Jamie Gibson was forced to allow her house to be used after struggling to repay £500 she had borrowed to help cope with Christmas.

The 26-year-old was arrested when police raided her home at Lilywhite Terrace, Eastington Lane, in May last year and found 19 plants growing in a “sophisticated” set-up.

Prosecutor Paul Rowland told Newcastle Crown Court: “She said she had taken out a loan at Christmas of £500 and she did not have the money to repay. She was lent upon by the loan shark in order to use her premises”.

Glen Gatland, defending, said Gibson had not been certain what the loan shark was using the room for, but had her suspicions, and just turned a “blind eye”.

Gibson has never been in trouble before. Judge John Milford QC sentenced Gibson to a community order for two years with supervision.

The judge told her: “You pleaded guilty on the basis you came under the influence of someone to who you owed money and allowed him to use your premises, turning a blind eye to what he was doing there.

“He set up a sophisticated cannabis farm there.”