AN ELECTRICIAN from Halesowen hot-wired his friend's house to rig up hydroponics to grow a crop of potent cannabis.

Steven Darnley had been helping his friend renovate the property when he asked if he could move in for a year.

Soon after the brother of the owner drove past the house and saw one of the windows had been boarded up and "realised something was amiss."

The pair went to the house where they found a cannabis growing operation had been set up in a bedroom and the electricity

supply had been tampered with, Sarah Allen prosecuting told Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Police officers moved in to seize the 11 growing plants which had a street value of around £3,460 and they arrested Darnley

who had earlier been released from an 18 month prison term for producing cannabis.

Darnley of Bournes Hill admitted producing cannabis and he was given a 10 month jail sentence suspended for two years coupled

with two years Supervision.

The cannabis addict was further ordered to attend the Drug Rehabilitation Programme, to obey a three month curfew order between the hours of 9.00pm and 6.00am and pay £250 costs.

Recorder Stuart Sprawson told him reports indicated the sums of money he had been spending on the drug for his "deeply entrenched habit" were "mind blowing".

He said Darnley had exploited his friend by setting up the cannabis factory inside his house - something that was clearly "intentional, planned and premeditated."

Mr Raymond McVeighty defending told the court that when he came out of prison Darnley had been homeless, unemployed and at a low ebb.

A friend gave the qualified electrician cannabis and his habit "grew and grew" and the object of the offence was to grow the drug for purely for his own consumption.