A MAN who tried to deal with mental illness by growing cannabis in his garden greenhouse has appeared before York magistrates.

Three of Jason Clark’s illegal plants were six foot high and officers smelt the drug as soon as they went onto the patio of his family’s Acomb home, said Melanie Ibbotson, prosecuting.

Jackie East, for Clark, said he grew the drug as treatment for his severe depression.

“He has had a very sharp shock,” she said. “He has been in police custody for a time and now he is in court. He fully understands he must not go about producing cannabis under any circumstances.”

Clark, 44, of Ridgeway, Acomb, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the production of cannabis. York magistrates gave him a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £85 prosecution costs and a £20 statutory surcharge.

Ms Ibbotson said police got a tip-off that Clark was growing cannabis in a greenhouse at the back of his property.

When they visited his home, they found six plants in the greenhouse, together with growing equipment and bags. Clark admitted he was responsible for them.

Mrs East said Clark lived with his parents. He was getting medical treatment for depression, including a prescription, but decided to take his own measures as well.

“He grew these plants for his own personal use,” she said. “He was using the cannabis to alleviate some of the symptoms following his diagnosis with severe depression.

“He didn’t want to involve himself with dealers and therefore took the decision to grow the plants in this way.”