A DRUG user who took cannabis to deal with health problems was asked to start his own ‘farm’ to repay his debts, a court heard.

But Clint Houlahan, 27, was caught out when police investigating a domestic violence allegation arrived at his Great Harwood home, Burnley Crown Court was told.

Inside the Croft Street property were 16 plants in an upstairs bedroom, being assisted to grow by a high-powered lamp and fans. Nine more plants, with a similar set-up, were discovered in an airing cupboard.

And 36 dead, or dying, plants, alongside a series of timer switches, were found in the attic at the house, said prosecutor Stephen Parker.

Forensic experts estimated that the potential yield from the healthy plants was around £6,400 worth of the drug.

David Ryan, defending, said his client, who suffered from severe health problems, had fallen into debt through using an ‘enormous amount’ of the drug.

He said: “There is no evidence of any supply for gain in the truest sense of the word.”

Houlahan admitted possession of cannabis with intent to supply, and was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months, with 18 months’ probation supervision, and an alcohol treatment requirement.

Houlahan was given a two-year community order last October after being convicted of a battery offence, in relation to the domestic violence investigation.