Police raid uncovers drug farms in neighbouring Hebburn flats
A dealer who set up two separate cannabis farms in neighbouring flats has been put behind bars.
Police found a total of £6,472 worth of the class B drug, including six plants, when they raided an upstairs property linked to David Thompson at Prince Consort Road, Hebburn, in December 2014.
The 55-year-old was arrested and released on bail but just four months later another farm, containing five plants, was found in the flat below.
Thompson, of Clyde Avenue, Hebburn, admitted production of cannabis in relation to the first illegal find.
He denied dealing the drug to others, despite police finding a “debtors list” and denied any involvement in the second farm but was found guilty by a jury of possession with intent to supply and production of cannabis.
Thompson claimed the drugs were for his own use to help with pain relief for medical conditions.
At Newcastle Crown Court Thompson, who has 75 previous convictions, including 18 drug related offences, was jailed for 18 months.
Judge Edward Bindloss told him: “An aggravating feature is the fact this was two amounts of production, the second being while on bail.
“You have a number of previous convictions for drugs.
“I accept, because of your arthritis, you were a heavy user and some would have been used by you but the jury convicted you of supplying, selling on to others.”
The court heard Thompson has dramatically reduced his cannabis intake and has a good work record.
Peter Schofield, defending, said Thompson used the drug for pain relief.
Mr Schofield added: “This is not a case of making high profit or gain.”
The court heard Thompson “regrets” his behaviour, has a stable relationship and was making good progress on a probation order imposed for a previous conviction.