Flat’s trashing led to drug find

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A Wigan man caught growing drugs in his council flat has been ordered to destroy them and slapped with a community order.

Scott Cunningham, 27, of Broadway in Hindley, was discovered with 10 cannabis plants in his home after police were called to a disturbance.

Wigan and Leigh magistrates heard how officers were called to Cunningham’s top floor flat to find him “pacing up and down”.

The property, owned by Wigan and Leigh Homes, had been damaged, although Cunningham could not remember how.

The prosecution solicitor said: “A number of windows had been smashed. There were 10 small cannabis plants.

“He admitted the production.”

The court was told how Cunningham had been smoking up to £40 worth of cannabis a day leading up to the incident, and that he does not remember smashing the windows as at the time of his arrest he had been smoking cannabis, drinking alcohol and taking cocaine.

He pleaded guilty to the production of a controlled Class B substance and to criminal damage.

Cunningham’s defence lawyer told justices: “On the day in question he accepts he had taken illegal substances.

“He tells me things were getting on top of him. He was having child contact issues.

“He accepts that he had alcohol and cannabis.

“He can’t recall smashing the windows.”

The court heard how Cunningham had tried to support his habit by growing his own cannabis to save money, and that he had not supplied the drugs to anyone.

His lawyer argued that his relationship of five years, which was suffering at the time of the incident in April, has now got “much better” and that he is contributing to the family unit.

For his guilty plea, Cunningham was sentenced to a 12-month community order which includes 80 hours of unpaid work, a three-month drug rehabilitation order, rehabilitation activity order and ordered to pay costs of £170.