A TEENAGER and his ex-girlfriend have avoided prison despite growing £17,000 of drugs in a ‘highly sophisticated operation’, a court heard.
Police found the drugs belonging to Jordan Corrigan, aged 18, after raiding a house in Higham Common Road, Barnsley, last June.
Inside, officers discovered 12 cannabis plants growing and a full hydroponic set-up, including automatic plant feeders and lights.
Sheffield Crown Court heard the plants would have yielded just under 1kg of cannabis with an estimated street value of £10,800.
Officers also found 663g of already harvested drugs which had been bagged, worth £6,630, and £360 in cash.
They also seized Corrigan’s mobile phone, and the mobile phone of his girlfriend and co-accused Bronte Canavan, aged 20.
Examination of the phones revealed that Canavan had sent text messages to Corrigan asking how much of the drug to put in the bag, and whether she had done it correctly.
Prosecutor Brian Outhwaite told the court: “It was clear from the messages that Ms Canavan had not done this kind of thing before and was asking for help.”
John Boumphrey, for Corrigan, told the court that the defendant had originally begun growing the drugs for personal use, but had grown ‘far too much’.
Mr Boumphrey added that when Corrigan’s friends became aware he had a supply they started asking him for drugs and the operation had grown from there.
“He is incredibly sorry for getting Miss Canavan involved and he asks the court to be generous towards her.”
Jessica Strange, for Canavan, said: “She acted out of naive loyalty and is ashamed.”
Judge Tahir Khan QC told Corrigan: “You have accepted in a manful way full responsibility and I come to the view that you are genuine in your regret that you got her embroiled in this criminality.”
Canavan, of Homestead Road, Shiregreen, Sheffield, admitted assisting in the production of a class B drug and was sentenced to 100 hours’ community service.
Corrigan, of the same address, admitted producing and possessing class B drugs with intent to supply. He received a 16-month suspended jail term and 200 hours’ community service.