A semi-pro boxer grew a £12,000 cannabis set-up while on bail for another drugs production offence.
Sam Clarke, of Accrington, was caught after he handed himself in to police in relation to a blackmail investigation, Burnley Crown Court heard.
Officers searched his former home on Robert Street in Accrington in February this year where they found 11 cannabis plants in a bedroom hydroponic set-up and the electricity meter bypassed.
Clarke, 24, had been on bail at the time for growing another £12,700 cannabis set up at his sister’s family home in October last year.
However, Judge Simon Newell told the court that ‘nobody knew’ about the second cannabis production charge when he passed the original sentence.
At the latest hearing, Clarke pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and abstracting electricity and was given a 20-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, with 80 hours’ unpaid work.
Darren Lee-Smith, defending, said Clarke, of Haywood Road, was ‘falling off the rails’ at the time of both offences, but has worked hard to get back on track.
He said: “He is not in breach of the suspended sentence, but he would have been on bail or at least under investigation for the latter offences.
"The most important piece of mitigation is his timely guilty plea, accepting full responsibility.
"Since the commission of these offences, the primary issues that led him to these offences have been alleviated.
"He became involved through an extensive cocaine addiction leading to debt. That debt has now been discharged.”
Mr Lee-Smith said Clarke is a semi-professional boxer, training for a semi-professional fight in October and is ‘hoping to return to employment’.
In June, Clarke was given a 15-month jail term, suspended for two years, with 120 hours’ unpaid work and a 50-day rehabilitation activity requirement after pleading guilty to producing cannabis, for the earlier offence.
Clarke’s sister Leanne Shorrock, 29, and her partner David Harris, 36, both of Avenue Parade, Accrington both pleaded guilty to knowingly permitting the production of cannabis at their property.
Shorrock received an 18-month community order with a three-month curfew order.
Harris was given a 20-month jail term, suspended for two years, and 200 hours’ unpaid work.
'Very last chance' - Judge
Judge Simon Newell warned Sam Clarke that this was his ‘very last chance’ to avoid jail.
Sentencing, he said: “What I want to do is make it clear to you that the sentence of imprisonment is a real and likely prospect if there are any further breaches. This will be your very last chance.
“You’ve only got this chance because of the fortune you’ve had in the way these cases were listed and the fact that you’ve showed some co-operation with the system by keeping out of trouble for seven months and completing the community service work.
“To use a boxing analogy, you’ve not been quite knocked out but you have come very close to it.
“The next time, you’re down and out for 20 months.”
The court heard how Clarke had already completed 113 hours of the previous unpaid work requirement in the last eight weeks with only one day’s unpaid work left to do.
Judge Newell said it was ‘commendable’ and told Clarke that he had ‘changed his lifestyle’, put his ‘involvement of people who deal in drugs’ behind him and was ‘now clean and engaging in active life with some prospects’.