A plumber and electrician who fell on hard times during lockdown turned to cannabis farming, looking up how to grow the plants on a YouTube video.

Joseph Greyo used his skills to set up the growing system at his home in Chiltern Drive, Tonge Fold, and was so successful that, when caught, 28 mature plants had been produced.

But his plan came unstuck when he did not pay his electricity bill for the property and electricity company staff, who obtained a warrant to enter the semi-detached house on February 7, discovered the plants and contacted police.

David Farley, prosecuting, told how the plants were being grown with the use of lights, a cooling fan and extractor fan and automatic watering system.

Greyo, who admitted producing cannabis, told police that he had been struggling financially during lockdown and heard out the possibility of growing cannabis from someone in a pub.

He then set about the project after viewing YouTube videos but told the police that, having never grown cannabis or used it himself before, had no idea how he was going to sell it.

Greyo, who represented himself in court, told the Honorary Recorder of Bolton, Judge Martin Walsh: “I’m sorry, Your Honour, but it was the last act of a desperate man.”

The judge sentenced him to 34 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months and ordered Greyo to undertake 140 hours of unpaid work.