A DAD who was caught growing £20,000 worth of cannabis in the garage and conservatory of his home in Leeds has been jailed.
Lee McKnight was given a 12 month sentence yesterday after a court heard police found the illegal plants when they executed a search warrant at his home on Spring Avenue, Gildersome, on February 22 this year.
Leeds Crown Court heard officers searched the garage and found six large cannabis plants growing in a tent in the garage.
The tent was equipped with heating, lighting and watering equipment.
The court heard the plants were capable of producing around 660gms of skunk cannabis worth £5,600.
Dad-of-four McKnight then led officers into the conservatory where they found a total of 89 smaller plants.
Those plants were around ten weeks away from reaching maturity.
They were estimated to be capable of producing 1.9kgs of cannabis worth £16,900.
McKnight made no comment when initially interviewed about the offence but later admitted responsibility for growing them.
He told officers that he planned to smoke most of the cannabis himself but would supply some of the crop to family and friends. He pleaded guilty to production of cannabis.
The court heard he has six previous convictions, for violence and breaching court orders, but none for drugs offences.
Richard Gioserano, mitigating, said McKnight had two children to his current partner and two from a previous relationship.
He said at the time of the offences he had been struggling to provide for his family and keep up with maintenance payments.
Mr Gioserano said McKnight was a plasterer but had been struggling to find regular work.
He added that McKnight was currently working with his friend who runs a bouncy castle business.
The barrister added that Mcknight had pleaded guilty to the offence at an early opportunity and had co-operated with the police.
Judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, told McKnight: “As with all cases such as this, this is a significant and persistent breach of criminal law.”
The judge added: “I bear in mind that you have not previously served a custodial sentence and that you are a family man and have worked hard when you can.”