A MAN who led police on a “wild goose chase” after denying he was the brains behind a cannabis farm has been jailed.
David Wright claimed he had nothing to do with the 15 plants found growing at an address on Whitecrest Avenue in Thornton – and produced a false tenancy agreement showing someone else lived there.
But the 37-year-old, of West Drive, Cleveleys, was rumbled after his finger prints were found at the scene.
Wright went on to deny producing and possessing cannabis but a jury found him guilty following his trial earlier this year.
Wright was jailed for 18 months at Preston Crown Court.
Andrew Cresswell, prosecuting, described to the court how a search warrant had been executed at the Whitecrest Avenue address, which was owned by Wright, in September last year and officers discovered a “fairly sophisticated production scene.”
They found 15 cannabis plants growing in two tents in the properties’ bedrooms, heating lamps, extractor fans and cannabis with a street value of between £130 and £190.
The plants had an estimated yield of between £3,700 and £5,500 of the drug.
And when police went to Wright’s home the following month they found a bin bag containing plant growing materials, plants pots and plant growth chemicals in a caravan parked on the driveway.
The defendant claimed he knew nothing about the cannabis production and said although he owned the Whitecrest Avenue property he had rented it to another man who police were unable to trace.
James Bourne-Arton, defending, said another man had clearly been involved, and added: “I submit this was not a commercial operation.
“It was not a sophisticated operation. He (Wright) is a hard working family man who has done a lot to turn his life around since he was released from prison in 2008.
“A prison sentence now would have a devastating effect on his family”.
But Judge Heather Lloyd said this was a cannabis growing operation which had been planned with some care and set up for some time.
She said, in her view, it was a sophisticated one.
Judge Lloyd told Wright: “You deliberately produced a false tenancy agreement to police, setting them on a wild goose chase as they looked for a tenant who didn’t exist, though I think it likely that others were involved.
“This was a major set up for financial advantage and this was not a domestic operation.”