A pensioner has been jailed for more than two years after he was caught growing more than 200 cannabis plants at a house in Huddersfield.
Leeds Crown Court heard when officers searched the address in Bradford Road, Fixby, on November 6, 2012 Brian Hague, now 68, was present and was found to have a pair of latex gloves in his pocket covered in soil.
Kirsten Mercer, prosecuting, told the court yesterday three rooms had been converted for cannabis production with ventilation, lighting equipment and the electricity supply had been tampered with so the meter was bypassed.
A total of 262 plants were discovered. There were 119 plants growing in a ground floor room, 90 in one bedroom and 53 in another.
Police also found a laptop with a substantial history of internet searches for companies selling hydroponic equipment. Some of those companies were contacted and confirmed Hague had purchased fans and other equipment from them.
Miss Mercer said 364 grammes of skunk cannabis was also found with an estimated street value of £3,120 and there was evidence that a previous crop had been grown at the property.
“It was estimated that with three crops a year the yield would be around 47.9 kilogrammes worth £410,529.”
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The court heard the delay since the find included inquiries to see if others were involved and Hague denying the charge and facing trial until he changed plea earlier this year.
Mark Brookes, representing Hague, said the house had been purchased for him by his son and he accepted he was visiting the property in 2012 and was aware of what it was being used for. He had no previous convictions involving drugs
He said Hague was a man in poor health who had undergone a triple bypass in March and was still suffering the after effects of that and was also supporting his partner who also had health issues. He suggested a prison sentence could be suspended.
Hague, now of Thornton Road, Bradford admitted producing cannabis.
Jailing him for 27 months Recorder Ray Singh said there had to be an immediate sentence for what was a “significant cannabis factory.”
He said money had been spent on setting it up and there was evidence of a previous crop.
He told Hague: “So on any basis this was a significant operation on your part.”
While growing the plants for financial gain he said Hague had clearly not thought of the welfare of his partner at that time.