A DRUG dealer who grew £8,000 worth of cannabis plants at his home has been jailed for 14 months.
Kevin Stevenson, 31, from Ilkeston, also found a way to by-pass his electricity meter for the hydroponic set-up at his home, avoiding having to pay more than £900 in bills, Derby Crown Court heard.
He was arrested by police after they raided his Market Street home on July 12 last year.
He pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply the drug and to the theft of the electricity.
Sentencing him yesterday, Judge David Price said: “You were a dealer on the lower end of the scale, but a lot of the cannabis that is coming on to the streets of Derby comes from people who grow cannabis just like you do.
“You had a sophisticated growing system and the value of the crops found were about £8,000.
“That was going to be sold to other people to support your cannabis habit.”
Police found 36 mature plants, four large plants and 80 small plants when they raided Stevenson’s home, prosecuting barrister Vee Munro told the court.
She said he was arrested and under questioning admitted using cannabis for around 15 years.
She said: “At first he said he had not been selling the drug.
“He now admits he was selling it to friends and admits he had found a way to by-pass the electricity meter for which there is a claim of £941.75.”
Quentin Robbins, in mitigation, said his client admitted growing the plants to smoke himself and to sell to friends “to make some money on the side.”
Mr Robbins said “It is clear to see he has had a long-term habit.
“He thought the drug was a class C but accepts this does not justify his actions.”
Mr Robbins added that Stevenson’s partner had given his client an ultimatum to stop growing and selling cannabis.
Mr Robbins said: “She has told him he must put aside what he has been doing. He has distanced himself from the people he used to mix with and go to festivals with.”
Judge Price sentenced Stevenson to 14 months for possession with intent to supply the cannabis and six months, to run concurrently, for the theft of the electricity.
The plants seized by the police were ordered to be destroyed.