A BACUP market trader with a 20-year cannabis habit had a potential £6,000 ‘mini drugs factory’ locked away at his fam- ily home, a court heard.

Father-of-two Keith Morris, 36, was growing 15 seedlings in a back bedroom, which had foil lining, an extraction sys-tem and lighting.

Morris claimed he was grow- ing the cannabis for his own use as he didn’t want to go to drug dealers.

Burnley magistrates were told how Morris had stopped smoking cannabis during the week since police turned up and arrested him, on Jan-uary 6.

Morris, of Riverside Court, Shawforth, admitted produc-ing cannabis. He was put on a 14-week curfew, seven days a week, between 7pm and 6am, and must pay £85 costs.

The bench told him it had been a ‘comprehensive set-up’, and he had been motiv-ated by financial advantage.

Alex Mann, prosecuting, said the seedlings all seemed to be healthy when seized by police and, if they had mat-ured, the drugs could have been worth £6,000 on the streets.

She continued: “There is no suggestion the defendant is a drug dealer, or set this up to supply other people. He has a 20-year cannabis habit and he does say he needs help with that.”

Mrs Mann said Morris would have ended up with so much cannabis, he wouldn’t have used it all himself.

She added: “There was quite a set-up. It was a mini cann-abis factory.”

Krystal Savoie, for Morris, said his motivation was to avoid any involvement with drug dealers, and not for financial gain.

He co-operated fully with police, and took them straight to the room where the plants were, and unlocked it.

The hearing was told by probation officer Katherine Uttley that Morris realised he had been reckless and shouldn’t have done it.

Since his arrest, Morris had taken stock of the situation and realised he was potent-ially going to lose his relat-ionship because of his beh- aviour and continued cann-abis use.

He had stopped smoking the drug during the week, and occasionally had a small amount on Saturdays. Morris was on mobility all-owance after a fall on ice four years ago meant he had had plates put in his leg.