Former squaddie grew cannabis in loft to help pay rent on Leeds home

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A former soldier was caught selling cannabis in his home after police went to his home to investigate an attempted assault on him.

A court heard Paul Phillips, 41, agreed to grow the illegal plants in his home for criminals after leaving the army and being unable to make ends meet.

Phillips was approached in a pub by crooks who had heard of his financial problems and persuaded him to grow 71 plants on the top floor of his home on Victoria Road, Guiseley.

Dave McKaye, prosecuting, said Phillips was caught after he was threatened and someone tried to kick the door down at his home.

He rang police and officers could smell the plants when they went to his home.

Paul Flemming, mitigating, said Phillips, who pleaded guilty to producing cannabis, left the army in May last year after 22 years with an “exemplary character”.

He was receiving an army pension but was renting a housing which was beyond his means. Mr Flemming said Phillips agreed to water the plants but had no other involvement in the cultivation process. He has no previous convictions and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

He was given a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 240 hours unpaid work.

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