A young dad who grew a £13,000 cannabis set-up in the loft of his girlfriend’s home has been spared jail.
Kyle Granite, of Bridge Street, Rishton, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and abstracting electricity but was given another chance at Burnley Crown Court by Judge Jonathan Gibson who ruled that he had demonstrated willingness to change by remaining in employment and committing no further criminal offences.
Police had discovered Granite’s haul of 23 ‘medium sized’ cannabis plants at his partner Ellie McIntosh’s rented home in Clayton-le-Moors after they forced their way into the property in May 2016.
She had claimed sole responsibility, but Granite later admitted organising the set-up and that McIntosh was ‘covering for him’. Judge Gibson had previously deferred his sentence from May to ‘test his resolve’. At the latest hearing, he handed Granite a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, with 20 rehabilitation requirement days.
The 26-year-old was fined just £1 for breaching his suspended prison sentence order from an earlier conviction, and was also ordered to pay £500 in prosecution costs on behalf of the taxpayer.
Isobel Thomas, defending, told the court that Granite, who has 12 convictions for 14 previous offences, had left his job as an HGV driver three months ago, but that he was now working as a ‘cash-in-hand’ labourer.
She said: “The reason for that change was that the work was arranged through a recruitment company and he says that it was quite unpredictable in terms of days and hours he would be working. He found that to be difficult to manage with his finances. He has still taken all steps to remain in employment, to keep earning. He has made a concerted effort he says to get his life back on track.”
Judge Gibson said: “The case itself justifies a custodial sentence because it involved the cultivation of cannabis. I deferred sentence upon you approximately six months ago to see whether or not you were staying out of trouble in the sense of not committing further offences and you have kept that part of the deferred sentence, and also to see whether you would remain in employment to provide for your family legitimately, and you appear to have remained in employment.”
McIntosh, of Barnes Street, Clayton-le-Moors, pleaded guilty to permitting the production of cannabis in May. She was fined £200 and ordered to pay £100 costs.