"This was the defendant's own commercial operation."
Rakesh O’Dedra, aged 34, of Leicester, was jailed for two years and four months after he turned his home in Birstall, Leicestershire into a cannabis factory.
Leicester Crown Court heard he made the decision after his wife refused to move into the home.
O’Dedra had 36 plants growing at the address. When his family’s home in Belgrave, Leicester was searched, officers found £34,420 in cash.
Judge Nicholas Dean QC stated that it was likely that the money was profit from earlier grows.
A search warrant was executed at the Birstall home in April 2017 as the prosecutor Ben Gow explained:
“When officers executed a search warrant at the address in Woodgate Drive, they found the cannabis plants and growing equipment.
“Several windows had the daylight blocked out.
“There were 36 cannabis plants capable of reaching full maturity with a value of between £13,000 and £25,200.”
A police expert concluded the system in place was capable of larger crops in “significant quantities”.
He said: “This was the defendant’s own commercial operation.”
O’Dedra pleaded guilty to cannabis production and possessing criminal property.
Errol Ballentyne, defending, explained that his client had been suffering from stress as he had been working two jobs to support his family.
He said: “The house was bought in 2016 in a dilapidated state. It was going to be the family home for his wife and children.
“The position altered because his wife didn’t want to move to the house because it would mean the children would have to change schools.
“He’d spent a lot of time decorating it and it was put on the rental market but they didn’t receive any interest.
“He was approached by someone who said they would use the house – and he allowed it to happen.
“He knew and didn’t stop them, although he didn’t realise the scale.
“He feels shame.”
Judge Dean told O’Dedra: “You were almost literally caught red-handed producing cannabis.
“In addition to that, you were found to be in possession of a large amount of cash, approaching £35,000.
“It seems appropriate to treat that money as the proceeds of earlier grows.
“That tells us something about the scale of your operation.
“It was commercial production at a medium level intended for you to profit from as you plainly had in the past.”
Judge Dean rejected a defence claim that the seized money came from tax evasion rather than from drugs.
He added: “I accept there may have been personal circumstances that caused you to be under pressure, but it’s hard to understand why those matters should have led you to offending in the way you have.
“You saw a commercial opportunity and you took it.
“I’ve read and considered references in relation to you. You’re also a man of previous good character.
“Nevertheless you engaged in the commercial production of a class B drug and were concerned in a profitable business.”
Rakesh O’Dedra was sentenced to two years and four months in prison.
Leicester Mercury reported that a proceeds of crime hearing will take place in December 2019.