A security worker was caught with a cannabis farm worth up to £12,000 in his home.
Preston Crown Court heard the amount of cannabis grown by Jason Russell, 42, at his home on Warley Road, North Shore, would have made 4,000 illegal cigarettes.
He was jailed for nine months after he pleaded guilty to producing cannabis on September 15 and abstracting electricity from his first floor flat at the address.
Prosecuting, Paul Brookwell said: “The defendant was just leaving his property when police attended and it was discovered he had 22 plants growing inside the property. They were growing under lights, there were extractor fans in place, and the meter had been bypassed.
“The value of electricity is said to be £958 with a cost of £486 of calling the engineer out.
“The potential yield is estimated to have been 880g which would have a street value of around £12,570.
“The defendant was interviewed the same day, He said his intention was to use some and sell some to people he knew, and estimated he would get three to four thousand pounds.
“He said he learnt to grow cannabis through a book.”
Daniel Harman, defending, said: “One has to scratch one’s head to think why at this age, after not being in trouble for 20 years, he engages in this activity.
“His partner sits in the public gallery visibly upset.”
Judge Mark Brown said: “You’re a man of mature years, a family man with no relevant convictions and a good work record. And yet despite all of this you’ve committed these offences.
“I’m satisfied you went into this with your eyes open.
“You knew jolly well what was happening. You knew the risk you were taking, you thought you’d earn a lot of money.
“You set up a small cannabis farm and you did so in your house. In doing that you also stole a sizeable quantity of electricity.
“The message has to go out that if individual do this sort if thing then prison is the only outcome because to the only way the scourge of cannabis farms and cannabis cultivation can be addressed, its a very prevalent type of offence.”