Cannabis cultivator spared jail

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A FATHER-OF-TWO has been spared immediate jail after cannabis was being grown at his home a second time.

Addict Kashim Baksh (36) had been caught cultivating 14 mature plants, with a potential value of £5,000, and 10 smaller ones, in his attic in Burnley. Baksh had a previous conviction for allowing his premises to be used for growing cannabis, when 100 plants had been found at his home by the time of his arrest, the town’s crown court was told.

The defendant, whose wife is a doctors’ receptionist, had had three separate growing tents, with the plants in three stages of development. He had used lighting and ventilation, but there was no hydroponic system. Baksh was watering the plants himself and had not by-passed the electricity meter, so was paying for the power himself.

The hearing was told the defendant was growing drugs for his own, personal use, but would have supplied any surplus to friends for a profit, from which he would take the costs of production.

Baksh, who is a night-time delivery man and was now said to be addressing his drugs problem, was given a suspended prison term, after admitting producing cannabis between last May and August.

The defendant, of Colne Road, received nine months in custody, suspended for 18 months, with 18 months supervision and 140 hours unpaid work.

Judge Simon Newell told Baksh, who faces a proceeds of crime hearing, he would end up behind bars if he did not comply with the sentence.

Mr Martin Hackett (defending) said Baksh had gone to Inspire and was due to start a 12 week reduction and motivation programme. He had been attending at Narcotics Anonymous.