Cannabis worker fled across shop roofs after £225,000 farm raided by police in Leeds
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More than 400 plants were seized from two flats on Cowper Mount in Harehills, but which had nothing to do with the ground floor business which faces out onto adjacent Harehills Lane.
Leeds Crown Court heard that officers executed a warrant to raid the upstairs properties on June 10, 2020. They found a large electricity cable running up the stairs. As officers made their way inside, they heard a thud, which was Aziz Rasul jumping from the flat’s window and onto the roof frontages of the shops on Harehills Lane and making off.
Inside they found a “large scale set-up” in both flats, with the plants, lights and fans. The electricity had also been bypassed.
With a potential 22kg yield from the crop, the full street valuation was put at £225,000. Finger prints found in the flats belonged to Rasul who was eventually arrested.
The 25-year-old, of Albert Road, Widnes, Lancashire, admitted being concerned in the production of cannabis.
A pre-sentence report found the asylum seeker from Iraq had struggled to find accommodation due to his status, so was offered the job of cleaning up the flats in exchange for free board. Mitigating, Michael Walsh said Rasul expressed remorse but the he had no involvement in the set up of the operation.
Judge Neil Clark conceded that Rasul was now married and had stable accommodation, and had not offended since then. He gave him a 22-month jail term, suspended for two years. He also gave him 240 hours of unpaid work and a four-month curfew.