A WOMAN grew a £54,000 cannabis farm in her rented home – using instructions from YouTube.
Julie Harris said the crop grew like “wildfire” after she followed step-by-step videos on the internet video site.
The 34-year-old said she bought the equipment to set up the “sophisticated” farm at her two-bedroom house in Houghton Road, Houghton, from online selling sites eBay and Gumtree.
Newcastle Crown Court heard repeated successful crops could have produced a yearly yield of £137,000 worth of the Class B drug.
Harris pleaded guilty to producing a Class B drug after her illegal set-up was uncovered during a police raid on March 29.
She admitted she had started the illegal enterprise to pay for her £350 per week cannabis habit.
Judge Brian Forster asked Harris how she managed to set up such a sophisticated farm, which had timer controlled lighting and an irrigation system.
Harris told the judge: “From YouTube, just posted videos, step-by-step.
“They just started growing like wildfire.
“I honestly didn’t expect it to grow as it did. I was just growing it for my own use.
“I didn’t have any intention of anything but my own use.” Harris said before growing her own supply, she would buy up to two ounces per week and could pay up to £300 per ounce.
She told the court since being caught she has cut down her habit dramatically.
Judge Forster sentenced her to 16 months behind bars, suspended for two years with supervision.
The judge said: “It is right to say many of the cases coming before the court concern home production of cannabis. In the past, it was a case of cannabis being imported into the country
“For that reason, the courts take a serious view of this.”
The court heard Harris has full-time work and has no previous convictions for drugs offending.