POLICE discovered a cannabis factory after responding to reports of a burglary at a flat in Morley, a court heard.
Leeds Crown Court was told officers found 53 mature cannabis plants in three rooms converted to grow the drug at a flat in North Parade on September 2.
The plants could have produced cannabis with a street value of more than £32,000.
Prosecutor, Camille Morland said officers discovered a can of beer, which was sent for fingerprint analysis.
The prints belonged to Damien O’Reilly, 32, of Armley Ridge Road, Armley, Leeds.
Police arrested O’Reilly, who admitted being concerned with the production of cannabis.
O’Reilly told police he owed a drug debt of around £1,000 and had agreed to be a gardener at the flat for two weeks, watering and feeding the plants.
The court heard police contacted the flat’s owner who told them a man, not O’Reilly, had paid the rent in cash every month.
Mitigating, Simon Perkins, said: “Mr O’Reilly was in the position of a gardener. He was not high up in the chain of command in this operation.”
Mr Perkins said O’Reilly has weaned himself off drugs and methadone.
Judge Peter Hunt handed O’Reilly a two-year jail sentence, suspended for 18 months.
O’Reilly was also made the subject of a six-month electronically monitored 7pm to 7am curfew.