Sutton man jailed for his part in £50,000 cannabis grow

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A man has been jailed for his part in a £50,000 cannabis grow behind an off-licence.

James Halfpenny (35), watered over 100 plants in a large outbuilding in the garden of Manny’s off-licence, Carsic Road, Sutton, Nottingham Crown Court was tld.

Police went to the locked shed and smelled the cannabis from outside.

Shopkeeper Kalwant Sandhu (48) was arrested on 19th June last year, along with Halfpenny when he arrived with the keys on him.

Robbie Singh, prosecuting, said: “Inside the outbuilding was a fairly sophisticated set-up, with high-powered lamps and timers.”

There were 30 plants in the first growing area, 31 in the second and 50 in the nursery area.

The estimated yield was over five kilos, with a value of more than £50,000.

Sandhu, who lived above the off-licence, said he had financial problems and had been given £2,000 rent for the outbuilding. At first he thought it was for an innocent purpose.

He admitted allowing the premises to be used for the production of cannabis.

Halfpenny, of Percival Crescent, Sutton, pleaded guilty to production and supply of the drug.

He was looking after the plants for others who were not before the court.

Text messages on his phone dating back to August 2011 indicated small scale supplying of cannabis, the court was told.

In mitigation it was said Halfpenny was naïve and his reward was only a small amount of the cannabis grown. He had a heroin addiction and thought it better to wean himself onto cannabis.

Jailing him for 16 months, Judge Jeremy Lea said: ‘Other people were doing this to make quite substantial amounts of money.’

The court heard Sandhu was of previous good character and was ashamed. His business was now for sale and he had lost almost everything.

The judge said he also had a serious medical condition. The sentence was 12 months suspended for two years, with a year’s probation supervision and 150 hours unpaid work to do.