Man walks free from court after stealing £4,000 of electricity to grow cannabis farm

A Mansfield man who stole almost £4,000 worth of electricity to supply his cannabis farm has walked free from court.

Thursday, 29th October 2015, 7:56 am
Mansfield Magistrates Court

Daniel Barker, 32, of Carlton Street, pleaded guilty to producing 20 of the Class B drug plants in his own home with illegally extracted electricity, after police searched his home on July 21.

Mansfield Magistrates’ Court heard how Barker had been growing the plants for ‘personal use’ and had been rigging the electricity metre since February 4, scamming British Gas out of a total of £3,784.74.

Prosecuting, Lee Shepherd, said police officers attended the address after they obtained a search warrant after suspicions arose that could be drugs in the property.

Mr Shepherd said: “There were 20 plants in the set up that were found upstairs in the property, along with the electricity meter.

“It was agreed the plants were for personal use and not for commercial selling. But the electricity usage shows the level of sophistication in this crime.”

It was then heard how British Gas had worked out the sum of money taken from them, as he had used up more than 29,000 kilowatt hours in the five months he had been extracting the electricity.

Zara Hussain, the defence solicitor, said Barker had been using cannabis for around five years.

She said: “He was going through a messy break up and started using drugs.”

Miss Hussain then went on to say how Barker had set up his cannabis farm as an “experiment” and that he accepts what he has done is wrong.

Barker was given a suspended prison sentence of 12 weeks and forced to destroy all the cannabis plants.

He was also ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation to British Gas, for the stolen electricity, and £180 in court costs.