A man who ran a mobility shop has reportedly been found to be hiding cannabis plants in his store in Bridlington on Humberside.
Police initially found eight plants at the Old Mobility Shop, run by Peter Hunt, before discovering a further 43 at his home in addition to indecent images on his phone.
According to prosecutors speaking at Hull Crown Court, Mr Hunt had initially refused entry to police officers trying to get into his store and allegedly told the officers to get a search warrant.
The police arrested Mr Hunt after smelling cannabis from inside the shop, the court heard, and the ensuing search in February uncovered a tent fitted with specialist equipment used to grow the cannabis.
It was reported that officers found many more plants in sheds at the man’s home and it is thought that the street value of the drug could be around £30,000.
Following an investigation, police found no further evidence of drugs on Mr Hunt’s mobile phone, the court heard.
This week at Hull Crown Court Mr Hunt, from Danes Croft, Bridlington, admitted to producing cannabis and possessing indecent images.
Mr Hunt’s defence said the man had “reached crisis point” and that he described having an addiction to cocaine.
Representing Mr Hunt, Dale Brook said: “He built up significant debt through drugs and thought it would be a good idea to one, supply himself with drugs, and two, help pay off some of the debt,” the Hull Daily Mail heard.
The court was told that Mr Hunt had “significant” physical and mental health problems and following the arrest he spoke of taking “significant steps” to turn his life around, including attending a detox programme.
“His wife remains supportive of him, and she would be the first to accept that over the last few years he has spiralled out of control,” Mr Brook said.
Mr Recorder McKone told Mr Hunt that his motivation for growing the cannabis was not only for his own misuse but also to pay off significant debt.
Mr Hunt was given a 23-month prison sentence suspended for two years and has been ordered to complete 31 sessions of the Horizon sexual offence programme, along with 25 days of rehabilitation requirements with the Probation Service.