A MOTHER who cultivated a cannabis farm of more than 70 plants inside her home has escaped jail.

Kylie Rathmell was at her then home address, in Burrs Road, Clacton, when police executed a warrant in May last year. On searching the premises, officers found two rooms had been converted into cultivation rooms with specialist equipment.

Rathmell, 29, was also searched and officers found a small amount of cocaine resin on her. She was arrested and charged with production of a class B drug and possession of a class A drug.

At Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday, Faye Rolfe, prosecuting, said the plants found were all more than 40 inches tall.

She said: “The equipment used was sophisticated and included thermal lamps, horticultural lighting and temperature controls.

“The plants would have produced between 71 and 213 ounces of product.

“This is between £20,000 and £60,000 worth of drugs if they were being sold in one gramme deals.”

Rathmell, now of Friday Wood Green, Colchester, admitted both charges at a hearing at Colchester Magistrates’ Court.

Rakesh Sharma, mitigating, told the crown court yesterday Rathmell suffered from bipolar and post traumatic stress disorder.

He said: “I am going to suggest she is a vulnerable young lady. She has three children who were removed from her care due to difficulties she was having due to her mental health.”

Mr Sharma told the court Rathmell’s intentions were to produce a large quantity of the drug in order to create her own cannabis oil.

He added: “She had tried it in the past and said it was good for relieving the symptoms of her conditions.” She would have had to produce a large quantity to produce the oil as it takes a number of plants to extract it.”

Judge Patricia Lynch labelled Rathmell’s set up a “very significant enterprise”.

She said: “You have to understand I am giving you a chance, most people in your circumstances have half a plant on a windowsill, not the enterprise you had.”

Rathmell was jailed for two years for production of drugs and six months for possession of cocaine, both suspended for two years. The sentences will run concurrently.

She was also ordered to complete 40 rehabilitation days.