A TENANT serving a prison sentence for growing cannabis at his Sheffield council house has been spared eviction.
James Nuttall, aged 53, who lives at Trenton Rise, Woodhouse, with partner, Jacqueline Clarke, 50, had 29 marijuana plants growing in a ‘sophisticated’ hydroponics set-up discovered by police.
The plants were estimated to have a value of £11,600 once harvested.
Nuttall and Clarke were both convicted of producing cannabis at Sheffield Crown Court last October.
In December, the same court sentenced Nuttall to two years’ imprisonment while Clarke was given a suspended sentence of 12 months and a community penalty order.
But they have been given a last chance to keep the tenancy of their home.
On receiving details of the convictions, Sheffield Homes and Sheffield Council served a notice seeking possession.
The case has now been heard at Sheffield County Court where a Deputy District Judge made a possession order, but agreed to suspend the order until October 2014.
Nuttall and Clarke have been allowed to stay on condition there will be no more illegal drug-related activity at the property.
After the case, Dean Butterworth, Sheffield Homes assistant director of customer services, said: “It is unacceptable for any tenant to behave this way in a council property.
“Eviction is a last resort, but one we are quite prepared to take if it means we improve the quality of other people’s lives.
“These tenants know if they breach their tenancy conditions again, they will most certainly lose their home.”
Nuttall is still serving his prison sentence and is due to be released in July.