A CLOWNE man arrested in connection with a burglary was searched and caught with drugs, a court heard.
Lee Mercer was carrying cannabis resin when he was arrested on 12th September and his home was then searched.
“A specially-made cupboard in the loft area contained three immature cannabis plants supported by lamps and fans,” prosecutor Becky Mahon told Chesterfield magistrates.
Police estimated that each plant could have yielded up to £120 worth of cannabis.
“He said he bought a £5 piece of cannabis resin and he had been given the plants by an un-named friend and he had not yet watered them,” added Ms Mahon.
Mercer, 35, of Rhodes Cottages, Clowne, admitted possessing and producing cannabis.
The court heard that he had already been sentenced for an offence of burglary.
He was given a £115 fine, with £35 costs, for production and a six-month conditional discharge for possessing the drug. The justices ordered that the plants, drug and equipment be destroyed.
“He has used cannabis socially for some time. He says that while some people go out, get drunk and cause mayhem, he smokes cannabis and watches a film,” said Jon Barber, for Mercer.
“He had been working for years but he has been unemployed for three years and money was extremely tight. He was targeted regarding the burglary because of lack of funds.
“Two friends had found an insecure garage and they asked him to go along.”
Mercer believed police were unsure whether the cannabis resin was heroin and they sent it off for analysis. The resulting delay meant that the drugs offences were not dealt with at the same time as the burglary.