A CANNABIS-GROWER caused almost £5,000 in flood damage to his neighbour’s flat.

Paul Kelly had been growing the plants in Woodfield Road, Hadleigh, when water began to seep through the ceiling of the flat below.

It caused appalling damage to the flooring, ceilings, carpets, and the walls needed re-plastering.

Kelly, 41, appeared before Southend Magistrates Court where he pleaded guilty to production of cannabis, abstracting electricity and criminal damage.

Prosecutor Lesley Chipps said he had tried to persuade the landlord not to call police. She said: “The landlord of the premises in Woodfield Road, Hadleigh, had been notified by there resident there had been some water damage from the above. He states he was contacted by Mr Kelly and was told police didn’t need to be informed as he had been growing cannabis.”

Police raided the address on August 25 and found 86 plants growing with the use of hydroponics equipment.

Miss Chipps said: “They found a large amount of water coming through. They were concerned about the electricity in the flat below and that a fire could break out.”

EDF Energy were contacted and it was established that electricity had also been extracted illegally, to the tune of about £800. It is estimated that if the plants had grown to maturity they would have yielded 3.86 kilos of the drug, worth £5,800 on the street.

It was decided that the matter was too serious to be sentenced at magistrates court because of the potential value of the cannabis.

Kelly, of Burnham Road, Latchingdon, in Chelmsford, was bailed to appear at Basildon Crown Court for sentence on December 3.