A MAN trying to convert home-grown cannabis into a more potent form of the drug caused an explosion which badly damaged his rented home, a court heard.

Alistair James Musham was using butane gas canisters in the kitchen of the property in Murton in an attempt to create tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), also known as ‘Shatter’.

But in doing so, a blast was caused which left the house in Toft Crescent, seriously damaged and caused the defendant significant injuries, on September 22, 2017.

Musham denied charges of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered and producing a class B drug, at a plea hearing at Durham Crown Court, last September.

But on the day of his scheduled trial his counsel, Ian Cook, asked for the charges to be put once more.

Musham, 33, of Kingston Road, Newcastle, this time pleaded guilty.

Mr Cook asked for sentenced to be delayed to allow for preparation of a medical assessment as to the defendant potentially being on the adult autism spectrum.

Judge James Adkin agreed, but said he wanted the assessment and a background probation report before the court, on September 4.

Bailing the defendant the judge warned him all sentencing options remain open, including custody, that day.