SHEFFIELD’S top judge has stuck to his pledge to jail criminals caught growing cannabis.
As reported in yesterday’s Star, the Recorder of Sheffield Judge Alan Goldsack QC, warned that immediate prison awaits anyone cultivating the drug, even for their own use.
And he put that promise straight into action when Raja Khan, aged 30, appeared before him charged with growing eight plants in his flat.
Sheffield Crown Court heard that Khan, of Atherton Road, Manor, was still on licence after being released early from a 32-month jail term for supplying cocaine in 2009.
He told police he ‘smoked a lot of cannabis and it was cheaper to grow it himself’.
But Khan’s set-up was discovered when the parole worker who was tasked with checking his progress after his release, visited the flat and found the drugs.
The officer called the police and Khan immediately pleaded guilty to producing a class B drug.
Richard Thyne, defending, called the miniature drugs factory an ‘unsophisticated’ and ‘naive’ operation.
He said: “He was being visited by his key worker. The reality was that he was bound to be found out.”
Judge Goldsack, jailing Khan for six months, said: “This is a deliberate crime, planned for a prolonged period.
“These eight plants were at a very small stage when they were discovered by someone monitoring your licence.
“It is towards the lower end of the seriousness of offences of this type.”
Judge Goldsack had warned that anyone who was caught growing drugs would receive a jail term - even if it was their first court appearance, they had no previous convictions, and they were growing for their own use.
He said: “Cannabis is a dangerous drug and those who bring it into existence must be punished.”
Over the last five years South Yorkshire Police have seized cannabis with a street value of more than £40 million.