A CANCER patient who found himself homeless and in debt after he started drinking following his diagnosis has been jailed for growing cannabis.
Carl Walker, aged 32, was locked up for nine months by a judge at Sheffield Crown Court, after he admitted producing cannabis in exchange for accommodation.
Neil Coxon, prosecuting, said police raided Walker’s flat on York Street, Cudworth, Barnsley, on October 23 and found 50 cannabis plants with an estimated yield of £20,000 growing in two bedrooms.
He said: “They also found the usual paraphernalia used in the production of cannabis – ducting, timers, windows which excluded natural light and high intensity lighting units.”
Walker told police he set up the equipment himself.
He later changed his story and told officers he was growing the Class B drug on behalf of someone else, but wouldn’t give their name.
Mr Coxon said: “His hope was he would obtain financial benefit from growing the cannabis.”
James Baird, defending, said Walker was receiving treatment for testicular cancer.
He said his marriage had broken down after he started drinking too much.
“He was living with friends and sleeping on their sofa. He was offered accommodation, and in return for that he carried out the role which he admitted to the police,” he said.
“He knew what he was doing was wrong but he felt in a vulnerable position and there was an element of coercion – when he tried to get himself out of it, he received threats.”
Walker admitted charge of producing a Class B drug.
Judge Alan Goldsack QC said he had ‘considerable sympathy’ for Walker but they were serious offences.