Man jailed for growing cannabis plants at house in Bramley to pay off crack cocaine debts
A man who looked after a cannabis farm at his home in Leeds in order to pay off drug debts has been sent to prison.
Lee Barlow was jailed for four months after police found £27,000 worth of the class B drug when they executed a search warrant at the property in Bramley.
Leeds Crown Court heard West Yorkshire Police officers went to the address on February 2 last year and arrested Barlow.
Mehran Nassiri, prosecuting, said 14 plants were found in one bedroom which was fitted with growing and lighting equipment.
A recently-harvested crop worth £13,000 was drying out in a second bedroom.
The 49-year-old defendant was interviewed and told officers he had only been living at the address for a few months.
Barlow pleaded guilty to production of cannabis.
He has a previous conviction for the same offence.
Tom Storey, mitigating, said Barlow became involved in the offending after the death of his wife.
Mr Storey said Barlow became homeless and addicted to crack cocaine as he suffered from depression.
The barrister said Barlow agreed to move into the property and look after the plants in order to clear a debt he owed to drug dealers.
"The financial rewards associated with the growing of cannabis are high.
"There has to be a deterrent sentence.
"You are no stranger to the courts in respect of cannabis.
"This wasn't an amateur production. It was of some sophistication.
"The scale of the operation places you at the higher end and I cannot ignore that you have been convicted for similar offending."