Leeds cannabis farmer who lived the high life is jailed

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A FORMER bricklayer who lived a lavish lifestyle from the profits of a cannabis farm at his home in Leeds has been jailed for a year.

Martin Ibbetson, 60, was snared by chance when police stopped his Mercedes for a routine spot check, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Officers discovered four bags of cannabis in the car during the search last August 21.

When his home at Baildon Walk, Whinmoor, was searched, police discovered 25 cannabis plants in two bedrooms fitted with high powered heating lamps.

A total of 420 grammes of cannabis worth £3,600 was found under the kitchen sink and £6,400 in cash was discovered in the lounge.

Prosecutor, Richard Canning said an unidentified £53,000 had gone through Ibbetson’s bank accounts between January 2008 and last August.

Mr Canning added: “He said someone had put the farm in his house. He admitted to having a lavish lifestyle through running it, including trips abroad.”

Ibbetson, who has no previous convictions, admitted producing cannabis, possessing cannabis with intent to supply and possessing criminal property.

Mr Canning said a proceeds of crime hearing will later be heard in connection with criminal property estimated at more than £70,000.

Mitigating, Michael Miller said Ibbetson – a bricklayer for 30 years – Ibbetson had borrowed £3,000 – which he was unable to pay back – and the people Ibbetson had loaned the cash from had set up the cannabis farm.

Jailing Ibbetson for 12 months, recorder Tony Kelbrick told him: While it might have been right for you to suggest initially you were pressurised in to doing what you were doing, there must have come a time when that was no longer the position and you have gone along with this wholesale cultivation of cannabis.”

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