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 home.

Alistair James Musham was using butane gas canisters in the kitchen of the property in Murton as he attempted 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 at the court, this week, his counsel, Ian Cook, asked for the charges to be put to his client once more.

The 33-year-old defendant, of Kingston Road, Newcastle, this time pleaded guilty to both offences.

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 to return for sentence on September 4, he warned him all sentencing options remain open, including custody.