A MAN caught growing cannabis in Drumry to pay off a drugs debt admitted his crop was “sh**e”.

Ross Mackie, 29, pleaded guilty at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on January 22 to producing cannabis and being concerned in the supply of the Class B drug.

He carried out the crimes between June 21 and August 21, 2018, at a property in Vanguard Street.

But his solicitor said he didn’t stay there because of “terrible damp”.

Mackie, listed in court papers as a prisoner of Barlinnie, originally attended Clydebank police office on August 22 but then never turned up for court and a warrant eventually dragged him to court in November.

Fiscal depute Kevin Doherty told the court when police forced entry to the property, they found a “quantity of herbal material and cuttings” in the bedroom. Mackie wasn’t at the home at the time.

The 39 plants were “in a bad condition” and had been cropped, hanging from a rope drying. 

Other items were found including a phone and lamp. 

Mackie spoke “freely” during the police interview, said Mr Doherty. He told officers the plants were “sh**e” and were to pay off a debt.

He told them: “I owe people money and they asked me to do it, and I done it.”

Mackie said the debt was about £1,000 and the person to whom he owed the money supplied the equipment, but he wouldn’t identify them.

Mr Doherty said the plants were found to be “slightly mouldy” and of poor quality.

Their value was estimated to be about £200 each, with a potential total street value of £6,400.

Defence solicitor Judith Reid said: “He would not have personally made money from this, but allowed the cultivation to be set up within his house. It was entirely to pay off a substantial debt.

“He has had a terrible damp problem and had moved in with his partner’s mother and the property was effectively lying empty.”

Sheriff Maxwell Hendry noted Mackie’s previous sentences included 28 months in 2011, seven months in 2014 and 20 months in 2015. 

He sentenced Mackie to two years in jail, backdated to November 5.