Cannabis grower had £20,000 plants haul

Alan Whittaker convicted of growing �20k of cannabis
Alan Whittaker convicted of growing �20k of cannabis
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A JOINER who grew £20,000 worth of cannabis so he could pay back money he owed to his boss has been sent to jail for two years.

Allan Whittaker, aged 32, grew the drugs at the suggestion of his boss to pay money he owed him, Sheffield Crown Court was told.

When officers raided his home they found dealer bags and scales along with eight cannabis plants. The 1.9kg haul had an estimated street value of £19,000.

David Wain, prosecuting, told the court Whittaker’s home was raided by police on August 11 last year.

Whittaker was arrested, and in his first interview he told officers he was growing the drugs for his own use.

But he later changed his story and told them he was growing the drugs to pay off debts he owed his boss.

Whittaker admitted producing the Class B drug with intent to supply at his home in Chapel Street, Hoyland Common.

Paul O’Shea, defending, said Whittaker was ‘not the strongest of characters’.

He said: “The idea was he grew cannabis on behalf of his employer who would take some of the money but the first crop of drugs was stolen – this was the second crop.”

Mr O’Shea added: “He is a young man with a history of depressive illnesses. He has been seeing his GP for 10 years and he is taking antidepressant medication. His boss didn’t pay him for some considerable time and he found himself in debt and a suggestion was made. He went along with it and the police visited his property and found this set up.”

Judge Roger Keen QC told him: “I have endeavoured to understand the relationship you say you had with your employer that precipitated this offending but I am afraid I don’t understand it.

“You became involved in the growing of cannabis on a commercial scale. The very least sentence I can impose is one of two years.”