A HGV driver who grew a ‘professional’ £13,000 cannabis set-up at his partner’s home has had his sentence deferred by the judge to test his resolve.
Kyle Granite, 25, grew 23 cannabis plants in the loft space of Ellie McIntosh’s rented home on Maple Street in Clayton-le-Moors, a court heard.
The haul was discovered after police forced their way into the terraced property on May 6 last year, Burnley Crown Court heard.
Emma Kehoe, prosecuting, said a ‘team of officers’ attended the address and found the ‘professional’ cannabis set-up in the loft.
Police found 23 ‘medium sized’ cannabis plants, seven transformers, two fans, plant food, thermometers and ‘magazines about cannabis cultivation’.
Mum-of-one McIntosh, 22, told police that she was fully responsible and her partner had ‘absolutely nothing to do with it’.
However, forensic examinations revealed Granite’s fingerprint on a piece of equipment. He later fully admitted organising the set-up and that McIntosh was ‘covering for him’.
Miss Kehoe said: “It’s clearly a significant amount of money that would have been available should the plants have been allowed to grow to their full maturity and then harvested.”
The court heard how Granite has 12 convictions for 14 previous offences and at the time of the offence was subjected to a suspended prison sentence order.
McIntosh, now of Barnes Street, Clayton-le-Moors, pleaded guilty to permitting the production of cannabis. She was fined £200 and ordered to pay £100 costs.
Dad-of-two Granite, of Bridge Street, Rishton, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and abstracting electricity.
Judge Jonathan Gibson said he would defer his sentence by six months and said he could avoid going to jail if he stayed out of trouble and kept his job.
He said: “An immediate custodial sentence would punish you.
“On the other hand, so far as your rehabilitation is concerned, you did successfully complete the community element of the previous order and have obtained employment.
“You are working, you have more money and are supporting your family.
“There’s a reasonable prospect in your case of you being rehabilitated more generally and living and more pro-social life.”
Defence barrister Alexander Rostron said Granite is a ‘young man clearly capable of change’.
He told the court that the defendant grew the cannabis because he was not working at the time and ‘did it for financial gain’.
He said: “He is a young man who had a troubled youth and a difficult upbringing. He has an unenviable antecedent history. He has matured in the last 12 months. He now has stability for the first time in his entire life.
“He is looking forward to the future and being a positive influence.”
The court was told that McIntosh previously worked in the care industry and is now a full-time student studying a foundation degree course.
Mr Rostron said: “She allowed her premises to be used because she was in a relationship with Mr Granite.
“She realises now the error of her ways.
“She fully understands and accepts that’s not acceptable.
“She is extremely regretful and remorseful.
“They weren’t living affluent lifestyles.”
Mr Rostron told the court how they were forced out of the Maple Street property due to a ‘vermin and rat infestation’.