Cannabis grown in the basement

A FORKLIFT truck driver told police the cellar he was growing cannabis in had “not been opened for years”.

Officers were called to a house where 30-year-old Craig Hamer lived after residents complained of a strong smell of cannabis.

When they entered officers could also smell the drug, and asked to see the basement.

But Hamer, who was living with his girlfriend in Bride Street, Todmorden, told the officers that the cellar had not been used in all the time he had lived there.

The police were able to break through the door and found 10 large cannabis plants growing.

Hamer and his partner were arrested, but during questioning he told officers she knew nothing about the drugs and that he had smuggled the equipment and plants in while she was at work.

He said he had just been made redundant and had turned to smoking cannabis to help him relax.

Bradford Crown Court heard how Hamer had one previous conviction for producing cannabis, in what the prosecution described as a “bedroom operation”.

His honour judge Craig Burn sentenced Hamer to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

He must also do 180 hours unpaid work and was fined £160.