Leeds man tells judge he was growing up to £10,000 worth of cannabis for ‘personal use’

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A Leeds man who had claimed to be growing cannabis for himself was told by a judge it would take “700 days” to have smoked all the drugs he was producing.

Richard Wade, now of Langbar Green, Leeds, had been growing 22 cannabis plants, with the potential yield of up to £10,000, when his house was raided by police in 2020.

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Wade, 46, had claimed the drugs were for his personal use, but the judge was unconvinced, claiming it would take nearly two years, smoking 20 joints a day, to get through all the cannabis he was producing.

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The sentencing hearing took place in Leeds Crown Court.The sentencing hearing took place in Leeds Crown Court.
The sentencing hearing took place in Leeds Crown Court.

Police attended Wade’s house on an unrelated matter on October 7, 2020, but after searching the property, found he had a number of cannabis growths along with tents and growing equipment.

He told police the cannabis was to be grown and used by himself.

The hearing at Leeds Crown Court was told, however, that there was the opportunity for a “continuous cycle of growth” and “some benefit for commercial enterprise”.

It was added the plants could have yielded a wholesale value of cannabis worth between £5,000-£10,000.

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Wade maintained it was for his own personal use, and was used as pain relief due to having had surgery for bowel cancer.

Probation officer Gail Wilson told the court Wade ran a successful business and was now living with his daughter, helping to provide for her and her young child.

Mitigating for Wade, Phillip Morris added: “Since the event, there has been a sea-change in his domestic arrangements.

"It is a matter that causes him concern, to be away from [his daughter and grandchild].

"He holds down a job and keeps others employed.”

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Wade had pleaded guilty in Magistrates Court to production of a class B drug.

Sentencing Wade, Recorder Andrew Latimer said officers found a potential yield of 1.8 kilogrammes of cannabis in the house.

"Even if you smoked 20 joints a day,” Rec Latimer said. “It would take 700 days to get through the cannabis.

"There was significant financial advantage for you. You know the scale of your operation.

"At the end of the day, you were playing your part in the drugs trade.”

He sentenced Wade to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months.