Bramley cannabis farm gardener was kept in house against his will, Leeds Crown Court told

A man caught at a  cannabis farm in a Bramley house told police he was being kept there against his will, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 5:01 pm
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Kristjan Zela told police he had been put in the house on Poplar Croft to act as a gardener and to water the cannabis plants.

The court heard Zela, 20, arrived in the UK from Greece last December.

Shaun Dodds, prosecuting, said police found Zela at the three bed terraced house on February 27.

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Mr Dodds said all of the doors and windows to the house were locked and police forced a door to gain entry.

Police found a total of 119 cannabis plants along with lighting equipment in two bedrooms.

Mr Dodds said: "In interview he (Zela) said he was being held against his will, that he had to repay a debt to a man in Greece.

"He said he didn't have keys to get out.The police couldn't find any keys.

"The large window in the living room was big enough for the defendant to have climbed out if he had wanted to."

The proceedings were translated to Zela via an Albaninan interpreter.

Zela, of Poplar Croft, Bramley, admitted producing cannabis

Judge Tom Bayliss QC sentenced Zela to nine months detention in a young offender institution.

Judge Bayliss said: "The property had been devoted to the production of cannabis.

"The electricity was bypassed and a significant quantity of cannabis was being grown.

"The prosecution accepts that you were forced to work in the property.

"You might have been able to climb out of one of the windows, but that would still have left a significant debt outstanding and placed you in some peril."