'You were vulnerable': Man spared prison sentence after he was 'bullied' into having a cannabis farm at his home in Leeds

A man who was "bullied" into letting criminals set up a cannabis farm at his home in Leeds has been spared a prison sentence.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 4:45 am

West Yorkshire Police officers found cannabis plants worth around £22,000 when they executed a search warrant at Mark Pollard's home in Harehills.

Leeds Crown Court heard the officers went to the property on December 6,2019.

Deborah Smithies, prosecuting, said 21 plants were found inside the four-storey back-to-back building.

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Leeds Crown Court

The electricity supply to the house had been bypassed and rooms were equipped with growing and heating equipment.

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Pollard, now of Tempest Road, Beeston, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis.

Richard Reed, mitigating, said Pollard became involved in the offence as he had been a user of cannabis and built up a debt with those who supplied him with the drug.

Mr Reed said Pollard felt "bullied and coerced" into allowing his home to be used to grow cannabis in order to pay off the debt.

The court heard Pollard has learning difficulties and no longer uses cannabis.

Pollard was made the subject of a 12-month community order and told he must complete 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

Recorder Ashley Serr said: "You were vulnerable. Your home was overtaken by criminals.

"You have no recent criminal convictions and are turning your life around with the support of friends and family."