Jail for addict with £47,000 drug farm

Craven Herald: The defendant was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court The defendant was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court

A 47-year-old Cross Hills man who bypassed an electricity meter to run a £47,000 cannabis factory has been jailed for two and a half years.

Simon Carver, who was about to be promoted to sales manager at work, was arrested after neighbours in Club Row, Wilsden, noticed a strong smell of the drug.

Carver pleaded guilty to production of cannabis and possession of the Class B drug with intent to supply.

He had also been sent to Bradford Crown Court for sentence by Skipton magistrates for possession of heroin and possession of cannabis with intent to supply, both offences committed in Cross Hills while on bail.

Prosecutor Austin Newman said Carver had 12 previous convictions for possession of drugs, dating from 1989.

In 2002, he was jailed for three years for supplying Class A drugs.

The court heard police raided the Wilsden property on December 31, 2012, and found 37 cannabis plants of various sizes in the cellar and bedroom.

Harvested skunk cannabis was seized from bin bags and the electricity meter had been bypassed to power the drug production.

Mr Newman said the total yield from the cannabis was potentially more than three kilos, with a street value of up to £47,245.

He said three crops of cannabis every 12 months would have been possible using the set-up.

Carver at first told the police the cannabis was all for his own use.

The prosecution did not accept that and a date was set to try the issue at the Crown Court.

On November 8 last year, two days before that hearing, the police were called to Carver’s home address, at Clayton Hall Road, Cross Hills, to investigate reports of a domestic disturbance.

Carver was arrested and had heroin residue in his underpants and a small quantity of the Class A drug was found in his car, along with up to £2,800 of cannabis wrapped in bin bags in the footwell.

Carver’s barrister, Emma Downing, said he was battling a long-standing drug addiction and had sought help from the Craven Organisation for Drugs and Alcohol.

He had a good job and was due to be promoted to sales manager.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said Carver operated a sophisticated and clever cannabis factory and went on to reoffend on bail.

Although he was “a man of many parts and many skills” only an immediate custodial sentence would meet the justice of the case.

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