Leak led police to cannabis farm

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A 28-year-old father has been given a suspended prison sentence after police investigating a water leak found a Todmorden house kitted out with cannabis growing equipment.

Bradford Crown Court heard that after officers broke into the property on Burnley Road a year ago they found a sophisticated cannabis growing operation and over 100 plants. It was estimated that the farm could have produced skunk cannabis worth more than £160,000 over the course of a year and Judge Jonathan Rose said the county and the country were “blighted” by such operations.

Judge Rose accepted that Jason Roe would not have received the substantial profits from the offending, but he had become involved in the offences to pay off a debt. The court heard that Roe had obtained the tenancy of the property and was responsible for paying the rent and his fingerprints were also found on items inside the house.

Roe, of Ewood Lane, Todmorden, admitted playing a limited role in the production of the cannabis and abstracting about £5000 in electricity.

Judge Rose described Roe’s involvement as “abject stupidity” and noted that the police only discovered the operation because of a water leak into the adjoining property. The judge said he took account of the fact that Roe had been out of trouble for 10 years and had responsibilities towards his children, partner and step-father.

Roe was told his 18-month prison sentence would be suspended for two years and he would have to do 250 hours unpaid work as part of the sentence. He will also have to pay £2000 compensation to the electricity company.