An ashamed Kirk Hallam pensioner has ended up in court for growing cannabis – after helping troubled teenagers find work.
Antonio Dimopolas’s voluntary efforts were outlined to Derby Crown Court as he admitted producing the drug with intent to supply.
Christopher Gabbitas, mitigating, said: “For three years, he has been in a taskforce where he has helped young adult males to train to find employment.
“He is particularly ashamed of his actions because these young men have previous convictions.”
Retired labourer Dimopolas, 67, was given a five-month curfew at his home in St Norbert Drive.
He was handed a one-year jail term, suspended for two years, and must do 200 hours unpaid work.
Judge John Wait told him: “You determined for reasons of commerce to start to grow cannabis so you could supplement your income.
“This was sophisticated and callous because I don’t suppose you thought that much that using cannabis is illegal because it is harmful.”
Dimopolas also admitted abstracting electricity and concealing criminal property.
Siward James-Moore, prosecuting, said police searched a house on January 24 but got the wrong address.
However, when they climbed into the loft, they saw growing equipment in the attic of the adjoining home.
Officers seized 65 plants with a potential yield of £8,650 as well as fans and heaters.
He sold the drug for £100 an ounce – well under the normal price, and paid £750 to have his meter bypassed. enabling him to use £1,326 of free electricity.