Man grew cannabis to ease money problems

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A dad-to-be who was under financial pressure turned to growing cannabis to ease his family’s plight.

Dale Smales, aged 34, set up a cannabis farm at his home in Dearne Road, Bolton-on-Dearne, which could have yielded up to £15,300 on the streets, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

When police raided his home they found hydroponic growing equipment, a lighting and extraction system and blacked out windows, said Andrew Bailey, prosecuting.

Dried cannabis, 17 empty plant pots and plant food were also found.

In the living room there was a ‘How to Grow Marijuana’ book.

Smales was arrested and 721 grammes of cannabis were discovered with a street value of £2,000.

Mr Bailey said had the drugs reached maturity they could have yielded £15,300 on the streets.

Smales admitted producing a Class B drug.

Paul O’Shea, defending, said Smales and his partner were expecting a child and there were serious financial pressures on him.

Recorder Kate Tulk, jailing Smales for 16 months, said: “It was a professional operation.”