A man caught growing cannabis plants at his home address told police: "Half are dying because I'm not very good at it."

Keith Richardson, 49, was arrested over the plants after police raided his home in Durranhill Road, Carlisle, on March 27, the city's Rickergate Magistrates' Court heard.

Prosecutor Pam Ward said the officers were initially sent to his address to carry out a welfare check on him.

"The police gained access," she said. "They found two separate cannabis cultivation tents - one with five plants in and the other one with one plant in it and cuttings."

When interviewed, Richardson admitted growing the plants but said they were strictly for his own personal use.

He said he smoked between half and one and a half grams of the drug per day and because of his mental health he did not want to have contact with drug dealers.

Nor could he afford to buy cannabis, he said.

He said he had taken cuttings because he wanted to rescue at least some of his dying cannabis plants.

District Judge Gerald Chalk fined him £110, with £85 costs, and a £30 victim surcharge.