'It was a madcap idea': Dad grew cannabis farm worth £24,000 in bedrooms at his family home in Bramley to pay off debts
A dad who grew a cannabis farm worth £24,000 at his family home in Leeds has been spared jail.
Police officers found plants growing in two of the three bedrooms at the property in Bramley where Shaun Sephton lived with his wife and two children.
Leeds Crown Court heard the children were sharing a bedroom while Sephton and his wife were sleeping downstairs while the crop was being produced to pay of debts.
Howard Shaw, prosecuting, said police officers executed a search warrant at the house on Green Hill Road on November 28, 2019.
Sephton answered the door and told officers: "I know why you are here. It's upstairs."
A total of 40 plants were found in the bedrooms along with sophisticated growing and lighting equipment.
Mr Shaw said experts estimated that the plants were capable of producing cannabis with a street value of £24,250.
As Sephton was arrested he said: "It is my own silly fault. I can't deny doing it. It was in my own house."
During interview Sephton gave precise details about how he had been cultivating cannabis for around nine months up until his arrest.
Mr Shaw said: "He said his wife had nothing to do with it and suffered its presence in the house."
The prosecutor said it was estimated that up to £100,000 worth of the drug was capable of being produced during the nine month period.
The electricity supply to the rented property had also been bypassed.
Sephton, now of Marsden Court, Beeston, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and abstracting electricity.
Probation officer Gohar Khan told the court that Sephton had admitted carrying out the offending after losing his job and getting into debt.
Mr Khan said: "He recognises it was a stupid mistake."
Mark Foley, mitigating, said Sephton had been working as a bus driver since February of last year.
The barrister said: "This was a one-off operation.
"The intention was to sell the cannabis and return to normal living.
"It was a madcap idea."
Mr Foley said Sephton's family would struggle if he was sent immediately to custody.
Judge Rodney Jameson QC gave Sephton an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
Sephton was also ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work.