Police who went to investigate a suspected burglary found the occupant was running a secret cannabis farm with a crop which could be worth £20,000 on the streets of Wigan.
Lee Hennessey claimed that the drugs were all for his own use, but Liverpool Crown Court heard that that suggestion was not accepted by the prosecution.
Claire Jones, prosecuting, told how officers went to his flat in Beechtrees, Skelmersdale, on February 17 this year after receiving reports of a break-in there.
“They found the premises insecure and any offenders had left but they located a cannabis farm.”
There were 19 cannabis plants in total with a potential yield of 1,459 grammes which had a street value of up to £20,000, she said.
Hennessey, 29, was not present but he was contacted and interviewed by officers.
He admitted that it was his drug-growing operation but said the plants were for his own use.
The court heard that he has a previous conviction for possessing cannabis in 2005.
David Lacide, defending, told the court that Hennessey, who has a young daughter, has Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder and anger management problems but is in employment.
He has been using cannabis for years but now “appreciates it is not the way to address his mental health issues.”
Hennessey, now of Elswick, Skelmersdale, pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis.
The judge, Recorder Mary Loram, sentenced him to 18 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years.
She also ordered him to carry out 80 hours’ unpaid work and to attend 20 days of rehabilitation activities and pay £200 prosecution costs.
Placing him under supervision for 18 months, she added that he could benefit from the help of the probation service “but it is up to you whether you take that help.”