AN assault victim used cash from a compensation payout to set up his own drugs factory, a court heard.
Michael Cook, avoided jail when he appeared in the dock for his scam funded by money from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.
The 34-year-old was given a suspended four month prison term after telling a judge he was using cannabis to help him conquer his drink problem and he had not planned to sell drugs.
Doncaster Crown Court heard how the Balby window cleaner received £2,000 for facial scarring suffered in an assault and used half of it to set up the unit.
When police raided his rented home in Finch Road last January they found 14 cannabis plants growing to a height of 75cm in the garage.
The unit included growing tents, transformers, lamps, electric timers and a water butt. Police experts said the plants could have yielded more than £3,000 worth of cannabis, said Jeremy Evans, prosecuting.
Cook had no previous convictions but Mr Evans said the potential output would have created a surplus which could have got into general circulation.
Defence solicitor Cedric Hennis said his client did not accept that, because the cannabis would have been for his own use and there was no evidence of him selling it.
Giving evidence, Cook said he had used the drug “on and off for years” and used YouTube to get information about cultivating his own.
“I intended to use it to get off the alcohol. I didn’t know how much each plant would produce.”
Cook, who earns £55 a week on his round, denied a prosecution claim that he saw it as additional income and said: “I’m not very money motivated.”
Cook, who admitted cannabis production, was also sentenced to 150 hours of unpaid work and supervision.