Cannabis worth £16,000

A Newthorpe man set up a cannabis factory that could have raked in more than £16,000 in street deals, a court heard.

Self-employed Paul Hogg, 56, used three rooms in his work premises on Pye Bridge Industrial Estate to grow 42 plants.

He told Chesterfield magistrates he had a heart condition and claimed a hospital doctor had told him unofficially that ‘smoking weed’ would help him relax.

Helen Griffiths, prosecuting, said Hogg had spent £200 on timer-controlled lamps to boost their growth.

“Police say that in three or four months there could have been enough to produce 8,000 cannabis cigarettes,” she said.

Hogg, of Minster Gardens, told the court: “I wasn’t growing it to sell to anyone. I was growing it for myself.

“The main artery to my heart goes into spasms and causes unstable angina.

“I have never used cannabis in my life. I had pains in my chest and a doctor said ‘I shouldn’t tell you this but the way to chill out at nights is to smoke a bit of weed’.”

Hogg said he had been under stress. He had an autistic son and a step-daughter with problems and “one thing after another had just got on top of me”.

He added: “It was where I work. It’s my unit - I’m self-employed.

“It just got totally out of hand and I regret it very much.”

Hogg admitted producing cannabis on May 10. The bench committed him for sentence at Derby Crown Court on September 28.