POLICE chasing up concerns for a man’s welfare found 77 cannabis plants in his bedroom.

Preston Crown Court heard officers forced entry into the property in Lindley Street, Blackburn, on October 18, and found 36-year-old Leon David Eccles and what was described as a “small cannabis cultivation”.

Prosecuting, Charles Brown said: “He said he was growing them for his own personal use. He hadn’t anticipated all the plants would survive. He claimed that only 20 plants were alive.”

Eccles, who has previous convictions for producing cannabis, possessing cannabis with intent to supply and possession with intent to supply cocaine, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis.

Defending, Neil Howard said his client suffered with his mental health and the police had only gone to the house because they were concerned for the welfare of Eccles.

Mr Howard said: “Mr Eccles doesn’t dispute 77 plants. What he would say is he was relatively inexperienced in this process.

“From the appearance of the set-up, it could have been far more sophisticated. It is one small room. The only ventilation there is an open window.

"Some of the equipment appears to have been purchased but not set up. Mr Eccles does say he didn’t know how to.There was no heating. There was one light.

“He says he would have used some of the plants for his own consumption. He had a serious cannabis addiction at that time.”

Judge Mark Brown said: “There were some 77 plants and there was also equipment associated with the cultivation of cannabis. However it’s right to observe the plants were at a relatively early stage of development so it’s not possible to know how many would have survived. Secondly, albeit there was equipment, it wasn’t on a sophisticated level.”

Eccles was jailed for 10 months.