Pittshill mum watered cannabis crop for ex-partner
MOTHER-OF-ONE Lisa Burgess looked after a cannabis farm that her boyfriend had set up in her house despite them splitting up, a court heard.
The 33-year-old watered the cannabis plants in the spare room of her home in Pittshill.
She also continued to use the free electricity she got when her ex bypassed her meter.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard police had raided her home in St Michael's Road on May 17.
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Prosecutor David Bennett said: "Lisa Burgess was at home at the time. A rear first-floor bedroom had been adapted to grow cannabis.
"Police found 24 plants and there was some element of sophistication. The room was equipped with heating and lighting equipment and a ventilation system. The electricity meter had been bypassed.
"She was arrested and in interview she told police it was her address but she had not set up the operation.
"She said it was her ex-partner who had moved out two weeks ago. She raised the issue of domestic violence, and said she was scared of her ex.
"She admitted she continued to water the plants."
The court heard the plants had an estimated yield of just over 1kg and would have had a street value of £5,320.
Burgess's ex-boyfriend was never prosecuted in relation to the drugs stash, but fingerprints on plastic sheeting found at the scene led police to her co-defendant Michael Wood.
Wood, of Burnwood Place, Chell Heath, admitted selling equipment for the drugs enterprise to Burgess's ex.
The father-of-two pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and being concerned in the production of a controlled Class B drug.
Burgess pleaded guilty to abstracting electricity and production of a controlled Class B drug.
Peter McCartney, mitigating for the pair, said: "Both maintain the accounts they gave in interview. Lisa Burgess says it was not her operation."
Judge Paul Glenn said he was satisfied that he did not need to send the defendants to prison.
Both were handed 12-month community orders with a supervision requirement.
Wood, aged 32, was ordered to complete 140 hours of unpaid work, while Burgess must attend 16 sessions at a women's centre.
Each must pay £300 court costs.
Judge Glenn told Burgess: "I accept the prime mover in this enterprise was your ex-partner, who was arrested but there was insufficient evidence to charge.
"You were involved under pressure. He left you to look after his plants which you did, and that was utterly stupid.
"You have a child and I think your risk of reoffending is low."
Sentencing Wood, Judge Glenn said: "You are a longstanding cannabis user and it's time you addressed that. You are in full-time work, and I don't think your involvement is so serious that only custody is appropriate."