A MAN locked up twice for carrying knives in public set up his own cannabis factory at home, a court heard.
When South Yorkshire Police raided Pius Kibathi’s home in Eldon Road, Eastwood, Rotherham, they found an ‘amateurish’ hydroponic set-up in a utility room.
Neil Coxon, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court, said officers found eight plants which would have potentially yielded 782g of cannabis, worth between £5,000 and £7,000 on the streets.
Kibathi, aged 21, denied growing the plants and said he spent most of his time living elsewhere.
Mr Coxon said the prosecution did not accept the drugs were grown for his own personal use and said Kibathi fell between ‘significant’ and ‘lesser’ when it came to the sentencing guidelines for producing cannabis.
The court heard that in November, 2011, Kibathi was jailed for a year after admitting two offences of possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.
He had been caught running bare-chested along a Rotherham street after another man, brandishing two knives.
Five years earlier he was given 18 months’ detention and a training order for affray and possessing a knife after stabbing a man.
Kibathi admitted producing a class B drug.
Sentencing him, Judge Roger Keen said normally he would have sent him straight to jail.
But he said Kibathi was trying to turn his life around, had obtained qualifications and ‘excellent’ reports had been written about him.
He was also suffering from depression.
Judge Keen told him: “Given the fact you confessed this at the first opportunity, I can impose a lenient sentence.”
Kibathi was given a six-month jail term, suspended for two years, with supervision and drug rehabilitation requirements for six months.
Should cannabis growing warrant a jail term?