Cannabis growers will go to jail – judge

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People caught growing cannabis for profit in South Yorkshire will face immediate custody, a judge has warned.

Judge Robert Moore issued the warning at Sheffield Crown Court as he jailed a 40-year-old Tinsley drug user for eight months – despite a probation report which recommended suspending Lee Clayton’s jail term.

He said: “People, including probation officers, must understand that if you set up a cannabis production unit in order to supply the black market for profit to pay off personal debts only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified.”

Michael Tooley, prosecuting, said police searched Clayton’s home on Ingfield Avenue and found a cannabis growing set-up.

There were 19 plants, lights, a timer and extraction fans. It was estimated the potential yield would be 855 grammes.

Clayton, who admitted producing the Class B drug, told police he owed money to others and grew cannabis to clear his debts.

Amy Earnshaw, mitigating, said his drug dealer had suggested he grow his own cannabis to pay him back.