Police investigating a report of a fire at a house in Huddersfield discovered a cannabis grow.

Leeds Crown Court heard when officers arrived at the rented property in Manchester Road on April 17 and carried out a search they found two rooms were being used to cultivate a total of 34 plants.

A cannabis plant

Aaron David Horn was the tenant involved and he went to the police station voluntarily and confirmed he had rented the property for such a small cannabis farm to repay a friend’s debt.

Bashir Ahmed prosecuting told the court yesterday a forensic scientist estimated a potential maximum yield from the crop of about 1.7 kilogrammes worth around £4,000 wholesale but accepted not all might have been usable.

Carl Kingsley representing Horn said he played a limited function in what went on accepted he rented the premises in March and the plants were discovered in April.

“He accepts he rented the property for that purpose but did so under pressure and intimidation, showing naivety and exploitation due to the influence of others who were owed a debt by one of his friends who is now deceased.”


He said that man had owed £10,000 and Horn had been repaying £100 a week out of his legitimate wages from work for some two years, and had been told the cannabis grow would end the debt. He realised he should have contacted police instead.

Horn, 27 who lived elsewhere in Manchester Road, admitted producing cannabis and was given a 12 month prison sentences suspended for 12 months with 180 hours' unpaid work.

The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC said “You were friends with people who got into debt and you were prepared to allow premises you rented to be used to set up a little cannabis farm as a way of discharging that debt to those who were owed the money.”

Such production was serious but Horn had no previous drug offences and having read references from his employer that he was a valued member of the team, he could suspend the inevitable prison sentence.