|A DEBT-RIDDEN failed businessman's £10,000 cannabis farm was busted after police caught him sat on a doorstep smoking a joint.|
Dope grower David Crute, 48, had converted his attic into a makeshift cannabis factory.
He had also sabotaged his fuse box to re-route electricity to the attic.
Crute, of Eskdale Street, Hetton, told police he intended to sell 1.5kg of the plants - with a street value of £10,000 - to pay off debts.
Prosecuting, Natalie Wortley said police had searched his house on January 17, discovering 26 mature cannabis plants.
Mitigating, Nigel Adkin asked Judge Beatrice Bolton not to send Crute to jail.
He said: "It was his first ever venture into growing cannabis. He was no expert."
He said Crute was dependant on cannabis, smoking up to two ounces a week, adding: "He set up a white goods shop in Washington which failed when his business partner ripped him off.
"He has been left with a crippling debt."
Judge Bolton jailed Crute, who admitted producing cannabis, possession of cannabis, and wasting £2,603.56 electricity, for nine months.
She said: "You admit the purpose of this cannabis farm was to produce a profit intended for you to pay off your business debts. "This was very different from an amateur trying his hand using a few seeds."