Wordsley man who rented house for use as a cannabis factory is spared further jail time (From Stourbridge News)
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Wordsley man who rented house for use as a cannabis factory is spared further jail time
10:00am Friday 20th September 2013 in News
A WORDSLEY man who allowed a house he rented to be used as a cannabis factory capable of producing £60,000 worth of drugs a year has been spared further time behind bars.
When police officers raided the house in New Street, Wall Heath, they found 74 plants in various stages of growth, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.
David Stokes, a father of two from Enville Road, had denied permitting premises to be used for the production of the controlled drug.
But the 27-year-old was found guilty by a jury at the end of his trial although he was cleared on a charge of producing cannabis.
Recorder Alistair Jack told Stokes it was fortunate police had stopped the illegal operation in its tracks at an early stage.
The cannabis factory, he added, was capable of producing 9.5 kilos of the drug a year.
He said: "This was a very substantial operation that would have produced a substantial amount of money and you would have been receiving some of that money."
He said it was clear that during his trial Stokes, an electrician with no previous convictions, had tried to "manipulate the system."
Jane Sarginson, defending, said Stokes continued to maintain his innocence and she stressed: "There was no financial gain and he did not play an active role in the production of the cannabis."
The court was told Stokes, who was given a 15-month jail term suspended for two years, had spent 41 days in custody while being held on remand.
He was further ordered by the Recorder to carry out 120 hours unpaid work in the community, to pay £2,000 costs and £500 compensation to the owner of the rented property for damage caused to the premises.