Two cousins who turned their rental property in central Hartlepool into a drug factory were jailed yesterday.
Mark Robbins, 42, and Sean Keenan, 29, were caught by police with 23 large cannabis plants worth close to £10,000 after the landlord smelt the drugs from outside the property.
The landlord grew increasingly suspicious after he noticed the high electricity bill, and once he discovered the cannabis being grown in his property, he immediately informed the police.
Prosecutor Jenny Haigh told Teesside Crown Court that the police visited the flat just hours later with a search warrant on October 27, 2015.
She said that it was a commercial venture capable of producing 989 grams with a total value of £9,890.
It transpired that Robbins and Keenan had multiple previous convictions for various offences including drugs.
Keenan was jailed for 13 months, while Robbins was jailed for nine months after they pleaded guilty to production of a Class B drug.
The judge said: “Cannabis, like all the drugs that are on the streets of Britain, is a menace. It is not something that is harmless. That would have gone out onto the street, maybe to people who are still at school, heaven knows what would have happened. People who end up with needles in their arms start off with cannabis.”