A LANDLORD has been jailed for growing a £25,600 crop of cannabis while his house was empty between tenants.
Simon Scane installed a growing room and a drying area while he was renovating the rented property in Barnstaple and grew more than three kilograms of the drug.
He was found with cannabis and a set of electronic scales in a locked cabinet in his bedroom when police raided his two properties, Exeter Crown Court was told.
He claimed the 2.2 kilograms of skunk and 1.1 kilogram of leaf were all for his personal use but a police expert calculated it would take a heavy smoker 555 to get through his crop.
Engineer Scane, 40, of Highbury Road, Barnstaple, admitted production of cannabis and personal possession of ecstasy and amphetamines. He was jailed for eight months by Recorder Mr Paul Derbyshire.
Miss Caroline Bolt, prosecuting, said police raided an empty house owned by Scane in Speedwell Close, Barnstaple, and found the cut stalks of 16 plants in one bedroom and a drying tent in a second.
The recovered lights, other growing equipment, and a total of 3.3 kilograms of cannabis. They also found more cannabis and the other drugs at Scane’s home, including some in a Tupperware box.
She said: "The police calculated the potential street value at £25,600 and considered it to be more than would be grown for personal use, although we accept he may have been more successful than he expected.
“The officer in the case worked out that it would take 555 days of continuous cannabis smoking to use the entire crop.”
Mr Nigel Wraith, defending, said Scane started growing the plants while renovating his property between tenants and did not realise much he would produce.
He said: "He had no intention of growing any more crops and was a heavy user who planned to keep and use what he grew. There is no evidence of selling such as plastic bags, dealer lists, or messages on his mobile phone.
“He has now given up cannabis altogether and understands his mental health has not been well served by his use of the drug.”
He said Scane has a wife and three children and a job with an engineering firm in Barnstaple which he may lose if sent to jail.
The recorder told him: "You cut down these 16 plants the day before the police searched and you had bags ready for use. This was a considerable quantity and the equipment was sophisticated.
“There were further drugs at your home and electronic scales in a locked cupboard although there is no evidence to supply to others.”