Ex-Army serviceman had drug farm in Peterlee

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A FORMER serviceman was given a suspended prison sentence after a cannabis farm was found in his house.

Police found 22 plants growing in the Peterlee home of David Batters, Durham Crown Court heard.

Martin Towers, prosecuting, said: “There were 22 plants which were close to maturity and flowering.

“The estimated yield is 990g with a possible street value of £5,657.

“Cannabis was mentioned in text messages on Batters’s phone.

“The prosecution cannot disprove his defence statement which says most of the grow was for his own use, although he would share some with others.

“It is fair to say this was not a commercial growing operation.”

Batters, 39, of Lancaster Hill, admitted being concerned in the production of a class B drug.

Neil Bennett, defending, said in mitigation Batters had spent some time in the Army but was now working and has a family.

Judge Christopher Prince jailed Batters for six months, suspended for one year, and ordered him to do 100 hours of community work and pay £535 costs.

The cannabis will be destroyed.