A SPORTSMAN whose cannabis factory was discovered by a heat-seeking police helicopter has avoided jail. Semi-professional kickboxer Marcus Delamare was found with more than 100 cannabis plants in the attic of his Spaldwick home in October 2007. On Thursda

A SPORTSMAN whose cannabis factory was discovered by a heat-seeking police helicopter has avoided jail.

Semi-professional kickboxer Marcus Delamare was found with more than 100 cannabis plants in the attic of his Spaldwick home in October 2007.

On Thursday magistrates at Huntingdon handed Delamare, 36, a six-month jail term, suspended for a year, along with 150 hours community service.

Prosecutor Joseph McKenna told the court how the police helicopter had spotted a roof in Burton Way, Spaldwick that seemed to be 'glowing'.

Officers searched the house and found drug-growing paraphernalia as well asthe cannabis plants, cannabis resin and a bag of cocaine, Mr McKenna said.

Delamare had used sophisticated equipment to grow the drugs in his attic, which had been the heat source the helicopter detected, the prosecutor added.

Delamare had pleaded guilty to possession of the cannabis and cocaine and production of cannabis plants.

Mitigating, David Potter said Delamare had given up smoking cannabis since his arrest and planned to set up his own business.

"He realises his use of cannabis could have caused detriment to his son and that is why he is going to stop," Mr Potter said.

The drugs were "purely for Mr Delamare and for no-one else," the solicitor continued.

As well as the suspended jail term and community service, Delamare was given a 12-month community supervision order and ordered to pay £75 costs.

Magistrates also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the seized drugs and drug-growing equipment.