Debtor hosted drugs operation

Cannabis plants.
Cannabis plants.
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A Doncaster man allowed his home to be used for cannabis production to pay off loan sharks, a court heard.

Patrick Taylor, aged 26, fell into debt after he lost his job – and borrowed £3,000 with an agreement to pay it back plus interest.

However, it was then suggested he turned over his home at Holywell Lane, Conisbrough, to produce cannabis to pay off the loan.

When police raided the house on Sunday, January 20, they found a drug production set-up and 2.47kg of cannabis hanging out to dry in the attic.

Louise Gallagher, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court, said the electricity system had been by-passed and there were water butts, empty pots and insulation.

It is estimated the street value of the crop was £24,700, and officers also found a small amount of cocaine.

The court heard that, after he took out the loan, Taylor said two men brought all the growing equipment and he just fed the plants.

Miss Gallagher said: “He was under strict instructions not to touch the plants.”

Taylor helped the men harvest the crop and they would come to collect it.

He knew it was for commercial gain.

He admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply and posessing cocaine and was jailed for 16 months.

Cedric Hennis, for Taylor, said: “He has made a terrible error of judgment and it has placed him on the verge of a custodial sentence.”

After getting into debt he fell prey to loan sharks and became vulnerable to pressure to repay the loan.

He allowed his premises to be used for criminality although he had no previous drugs involvement.