A CONVICTED drug dealer whose DIY cannabis set-up had the capacity to produce two kilos of the drug a year has been spared jail after a judge was persuaded that it had been for his own personal use.

Police found hydroponic lighting and air filter equipment in a back bedroom belonging to Stephen Adams, along with five small cannabis plants and ten saplings.

On a set of scales were 12 brown paper bags containing dried cannabis leaves.

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David Crook, prosecuting, told Teesside Crown Court that police raided Adams' home in Varo Terrace, Stockton, on March 4 last year after they arrived with a search warrant.

Mr Crook said the set-up they found had the capacity to produce 45 mature cannabis plants, the equivalent of two kilos of cannabis a year.

He said the cannabis leaves had a street value of £2,900.

Adams, 50, who admitted producing a class B drug, was arrested and denied dealing, stating the cannabis was for his own personal use. He said he smoked two cannabis cigarettes a day to relieve stress.

Adams' barrister Duncan McReddie described how the defendant had now moved to Jersey after his wife took a job there and was effectively a house husband looking after the couple's children.

He said Adams had been tested as being clean of drugs and should be given credit for an early guilty plea.

Adams, who was jailed for seven years in 2001 for drug dealing, was ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work in the community by Judge George Moorhouse, who said he would be supervised for a year by the probation service.