Man set up drugs factory

A man set up a cannabis factory that could have raked in more than £16,000 in street deals, a court has heard.

Self-employed Paul Hogg, 56, used three rooms in his work premises on the Pye Bridge industrial estate, near Alfreton, to grow 42 plants.

He told Chesterfield magistrates he had a heart condition and claimed a hospital doctor had told him unofficially that “smoking weed” would help him relax.

Helen Griffiths, prosecuting, said Hogg had bought “skunk” cannabis seeds off the internet and spent £200 at Castle Donington market on timer-controlled lamps to boost their growth.

Hogg, of Minster Gardens, Newthorpe, admitted producing cannabis on May 10. The Bench committed him for sentence at Derby Crown Court on September 28.

He told the court: “I wasn’t growing it to sell to anyone. I was growing it for myself.

“The main artery to my heart goes into spasms and causes unstable angina.

“I have never used cannabis in my life. I had pains in my chest and a doctor said: ‘I shouldn’t tell you this but the way to chill out at nights is to smoke a bit of weed’.”

“It just got totally out of hand and I regret it.”