POLICE found cannabis worth £12,000 growing in tents at a house in Leeds after sniffing out the drug.
Officers became suspicious as they walked along Alexandra Road, in Burley, on February 18 this year.
The smell of the drug was traced to a house nearby on Autmn Place.
Dave Mackay, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court officer knocked on the door of the property and it was answered by 48-year-old Walter Adams.
Adams immediately admitted that he was growing cannabis upstairs. Officers found 11 plants growing in a tent on the first floor. A further six plants were found in a tent on the second floor along with a tray containing 25 seedlings. Mr Mackay said the plants had the potential to produce cannabis with a street value of £12,428. Adams was interviewed and said he had built up a £900 debt with two men who he refused to name.
Adams said he had agreed to allow his home to be used to cultivate the cannabis in a bid to pay off the debt. He said his only involvement was to feed and water the plants. Adams pleaded guilty to producing a class B drug, The court heard he has 11 previous convictions for offences dating back to 1987.
Nigel Hamilton, mitigating, said Adams pleaded guilty to the offences at an early opportunity and co-operated with the police investigation.
Mr Hamilton said his client had not been in trouble since 2007 and was capable of leading a law-abiding life.
Judge Peter Hunt gave Adams a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work and pay £320 costs.
Judge Hunt said: “It is very serious offending, made all the more serious by the fact that over the past 10 to 15 years this particular offence of cultivating cannabis has become rife.”