"Exploited" Iraqi immigrant and Isis victim allowed Sheffield home to be used as a cannabis farm
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Sheffield Crown Court heard on July 12 how Soran Mahmoud, aged 31, was caught at his former rented home on Wheldrake Road, near Fir Vale, Sheffield, with 41 cannabis plants and growing equipment.
Rosemary Kavanagh, prosecuting, said: “Complaints started to come to the landlord from neighbours almost immediately about noise of drilling and works as well as staple guns being used, as well as locks being changed.”
Ms Kavanagh added the landlord inspected the property in October, 2019, and found a hole in a wall, a fan, ducting and a locked room. Police officers found 41 cannabis plants with an estimated street-value of £22,000.
The cannabis farm included specialist lamps, transformers, a duct with a power source and a timer, fertilizer and a blacked-out window, according to Ms Kavanagh.
Ms Kavanagh said Mahmoud had said he had been roped into the enterprise by someone he knew through work and he had sub-let the property for financial gain for a fraction of the potential profit.
Takeaway worker Mahmoud, of Spital Hill, Sheffield, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to permitting the production of class B drug cannabis at the premises.
Imran Khan, defending, said naive Mahmoud had not known what the property was to be used for when he moved in and he wrongly trusted someone and allowed himself to be exploited by others.
Mr Khan added Mahmoud is an Iraqi national who arrived in the UK in 2015 as an asylum seeker after his village had been attacked by Isis and that was the last time he saw his family.
Mr Khan said: “After the attack on his village and members of his family he had problems with his sleep with frequent nightmares of the horrible things that happened.”
Mahmoud recalls nightmares of seeing people being abused and killed including young children and the elderly, according to Mr Khan.
Mr Khan said Mahmoud suffers with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
Recorder Michael Fanning sentenced Mahmoud to six months of custody suspended for 12 months with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.