A CANNABIS farmer with 70 plants at his house and a previous wounding conviction has still never gone to jail.

Wesley Bates, who had the grow for two years without being detected, admitted production of cannabis, possession of cannabis with intent to supply and possession of ammunition for various guns.

The Worcester dad, who earns £50,000 a year, claims he set up the operation to provide himself with pain relief during a dark time in his life.

The 41-year-old walked free from Worcester Crown Court on Friday after police raided the cannabis grow at his address in Tunnel Hill in Worcester on August 7, 2019.

Officers found 70 plants with a potential yield of 1.5kg and a potential street value of £16,000 if sold in £10 deals.

They also discovered 31.6g of harvested cannabis worth £310 if sold in £10 deals and 150g of cannabis oil worth £390.

Bates admitted production and possession of the ammunition and later admitted possession with intent to supply on what would have been the first day of his trial.

He said he was growing the cannabis for personal use to provide pain relief but accepted he would hand the 'surplus' to 'friends and acquaintances', telling police he found the ammunition in a shed on an allotment.

The five live rounds of ammunition were found in vent in his bedroom, all for different types of firearm including a rifle, a pistol and some legally-held shotgun cartridges.

The judge accepted there was no evidence that Bates had in his possession any firearms at the time.

Bates said he had brought the ammunition home but had 'simply forgotten' to hand it in to police.

Daniel Oscroft, prosecuting, said Bates refused to provide the pin codes for his phones which were also seized by police during the investigation.

The prosecutor also said plants had the potential to 'produce multiple crops if it's kept going'.

He added: "He has previous convictions, his last for unlawful wounding dealt with 20 days after he was arrested for these offences.

"He's not in breach of any order. His previous convictions have never resulted in imprisonment and have all been for either violent or theft offences."

Niall Skinner, defending, said his client had grown the cannabis to obtain cannabis oil. "The reason why he wanted to do that was pain relief," said the barrister.

Bates had tried to obtain cannabis remedies from his GP but 'wasn't given any and took what was the wrong decision to embark on the process himself'.

Mr Skinner added: "Life now for Mr Bates is significantly different now from what he has described as a dark time when everything about him was falling to pieces."

Describing him 'as a completely different person', Mr Skinner said Bates, a father-of-two, does not drink now and does not touch cannabis and earns £50,000 per year.

He now has a contract at Silverstone though details of this were not discussed in open court.

Judge Martin Jackson sentenced him to 21 months in prison suspended for two years with a requirement that he complete up to 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

He was fined £1,000 for the production of cannabis and £250 for having the ammunition. Judge Jackson further ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs and growing equipment.

Bates was also ordered to pay £1,200 court costs because he only entered a guilty plea to possession with intent to supply on what would have been the first day of trial.