A KENDAL man who used cannabis for “pain relief” was growing the drug in the kitchen of his home.

Gerard Britniak, 58, also had cannabis worth almost £9,000 worth, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

He was caught after police were given a tip-off via the national Crimestoppers phone line.

At an earlier hearing, the defendant, of Peat Lane, pleaded guilty to possessing the class B drug with intent to supply and cannabis production.

Brendan Burke, prosecuting, outlined how police went to the defendant’s Peat Lane home in the town on January 20.

“The officers could immediately smell cannabis when the door was answered,” said the barrister.

“He invited them in.

“The defendant confirmed that he was growing cannabis.”

In the kitchen of his home, the officers were shown 40 ‘infant’ plants and the defendant also volunteered that he had three plastic tubs of the drug, containing 598g of cannabis, with a potential street value of £8,970.

Britniak maintained that he would start off the plans and then pass them to somebody else to continue growing them - a claim police were sceptical of, said Mr Burke.

But the defendant did admit providing cannabis to friends if it was requested.

The court heard that Britniak was prosecuted for an ‘almost identical’ offence in 2015.

His criminal record included 49 offences, including theft, burglary and assaults.

Recorder Ciaran Rankin noted that the defendant said he used cannabis for pain relief after being injured in an accident which left him with “significant” injuries.

But the judge warned that if he continued to use cannabis - despite his reason being to get pain relief - it would result in further convictions.

He imposed a 12-months jail but suspended the term for two years.

Recorder Rankin also ruled that Britniak must complete 15 days of rehabilitation and observe a three month 9pm to 6am curfew, which will be electronically monitored.