Cannabis farm found in cellar

A MAN has been sentenced after a ‘flourishing’ cannabis farm was found in a house that he was renting to his girlfriend’s sister.

When officers raided the house in Birstall they also found extreme pornography on Neil Blackall’s computer, a court heard.

On Monday, Leeds Crown Court was told how the house owned by Blackall, 54, was searched in October 2009 and 14 cannabis plants were found in the cellar.

Simon Haring, prosecuting, said the plants amounted to a “flourishing cannabis farm” with a street value of £4,800.

He said details of the drugs operation were found on the defendant’s computer.

Judge Kerry MacGill said Blackall had already been given a community order for possessing extreme pornography, which was found on the computer during the same search.

Gwynn Price-Rowlands, mitigating, said the only link between the two offences was the computer.

He said: “They are somewhat different offences in terms of criminality, though it seems a computer has been used for both sets of proceedings.”

He added that Blackall was effectively living off his partner’s income at the moment.

Blackall, of Jackson Lane, Thornhill, Dewsbury, was given a 10-month prison sentence suspended for two years after he pleaded guilty to producing cannabis at an earlier hearing.

He must complete 100 hours unpaid work and pay £1,000 court costs.

Sentencing, Judge MacGill said that Blackall had tried to get away with the drugs offence by blaming his tenant.

He said: “Officers came to your property on another enquiry.

“At the same time as taking other items, they took your computer and it came to light that there were many images of extreme pornography [on it].”

Judge MacGill said it was regrettable that he had not been told about the extreme pornography offence when Blackall appeared before him to plead to the drugs offence.

“It seems you had organised yourself quite professionally in terms of the cannabis,” he added.