Police raided the flat in May and discovered 55 plants being grown in four tents.

A MAN who bought a flat in Bideford with an inheritance from his grandparents used it to grow 55 cannabis plants, a court heard.

Oliver Stoneman, 39, of Oaklands Caravan Site, Okehampton, appeared at North Devon Magistrates Court on Friday charged with producing the Class B drug.

Police discovered the production during in a raid in May after a neighbour tipped them off about a distinctive smell coming from the flat.

The plants were found in four tents and although were valued at a yield of 491g - equivalent to £4,190 – they were in poor condition.

Tony Dart, defending, said Stoneman had been growing the plants purely for himself and the production was not for financial gain.

He said: “The plants were not the best the forensic expert had seen.

“Although there was an assumed yield of 40g per plant, the actual yield was more like nine grams per plant.

“It was an experiment he tried and will not be doing again.”

The court heard Stoneman had been using cannabis ‘on and off’ since he was 16 and smoked around seven or eight grams a week.

He was sentenced by magistrates to do 120 hours of unpaid work and the forfeiture and destruction of the plants was ordered.