AN Albanian man has been jailed for two years after a police raid uncovered a large-scale cannabis farm in a converted industrial unit.

After the officers forced entry to the premises on Engine Shed Lane, Skipton, last month they discovered about 400 cannabis plants being grown across three rooms with a potential street value of more than £600,000.

Bradford Crown Court heard that the professional set up included about £7,000 worth of electrical transformers as well as lighting, fans, and ventilation equipment.

Marsel Ndokaj, 21, was the only person at the premises and he was arrested as he tried to flee out of a rear fire escape.

Ndokaj, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to a charge of producing cannabis and Recorder Catherine Silverton said he must have been trusted to look after the set up and he must have been aware of the size of the operation.

The judge pointed out that Ndokaj had keys to the door of the premises, he had a mobile phone and there was £500 in cash found in the bedroom area.

“I have seen photographs of that place and it was indeed a professional set up,” she told Ndokaj over a prison video link.

Prosecutor Fen Greatley-Hirsch said the electricity meter at the unit had been bypassed and about 200 of the plants were just under a metre tall.

Another 200 plants were said to have been about 35 centimetres in height.

“The value of the likely yield has been assessed as £672,000,” said Mr Greatley-Hirsch.

Recorder Silverton was told that Ndokaj had been recruited to be a gardener and it was submitted that his role had been limited.

But the judge said Ndokaj had been trusted to look after the plants alone and she was satisfied that the offence was so serious that immediate custody was unavoidable.