Landlord jailed over drugs bust

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A MAN who owned two properties in Doncaster rented another so he could run a cannabis farm, a court heard.

Simon Kaye, aged 44, wanted to grow cannabis so he could use it to relieve pain from his long-standing motorcycle crash injuries, his solicitor told a judge at Doncaster Crown Court.

When police raided the rented bungalow in Bawtry Road, Bessacarr, last October they found two of the bedrooms and a bathroom had been converted to accommodate a hydroponic cannabis growing unit.

Neil Coxon, prosecuting, said the officers had to gain entry to the grounds through a padlocked double gate.

But when they knocked on the door Kaye answered it and was quite candid about what he was doing.

He showed them a total of 45 plants which, if they had been grown to maturity, would have harvested around £10,000 worth of cannabis.

The system also included ventilation, artificial lighting, ducting and plant food.

Kaye was arrested and would not answer police questions but his record showed six convictions for possession of cannabis since the 1990s.

His solicitor, David Branscombe, said Kaye had been growing the drug for medicinal purposes because he had suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle accident at the age of 16.

He had become progressively worse and was due to see an orthopaedic surgeon about a replacement hip, although he had been warned he was too young for one.

“He has severe osteoarthritis and fused joints, an ulcerated left leg that is twice the normal size, and finds life extremely difficult,” said Mr Branscombe.

“He always maintained that the cannabis was for his personal use and in the hope of saving money on buying it.”

He added Kaye was “semi-dependent” on the drug but since his arrest had reverted to using prescribed medication.

Kaye, who also owned rental houses in Zetland Road and Armthorpe Road, Doncaster, but is on benefits, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and was jailed for eight months.

Judge Roger Keen, QC, told him the court had to assume he could have managed without cannabis earlier.

“You devoted three rooms in the house to the production of this drug and took a lot of time and trouble to do it but I will keep the sentence as low as possible,” he said.