Man jailed for growing cannabis worth £9,480 at Lutterworth terraced home
A householder was reluctant to let firefighters deal with his chimney fire because he was illegally growing cannabis indoors, a court heard.
Owen Peaker had a crop of 186 cannabis plants growing in his mid-terraced home in New Street, Lutterworth.
Philip Gibbs, prosecuting, said: "He was obstructive when the fire brigade arrived because he was trying to hide the plants. The smell of cannabis was overpowering."
The crop had a potential harvest of 1.66 kilos with a street value of £9,480.
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Peaker (44) was jailed for 20 months after he admitted producing the class B drug, in April.
Mr Gibbs said: "The Crown say there was a commercial element to this. He told the police in interview he had a circle of friends who were cannabis users. There would have been enough to have made 474 deals."
Peaker claimed he was growing his own supply. He had previously bought a fishing boat in Egypt but failed to make a successful business out of it. A tree surgery business also failed.
"There was no evidence he was supporting a lavish lifestyle," said Mr Gibbs.
Michael Garvey, mitigating, said: "He spent £10,000 on the fishing boat but doesn't expect to get anything back from it.
"He couldn't afford his own cannabis use, but went beyond what was necessary for his own needs.
"The cannabis plants were not being grown to their maximum advantage."
Mr Garvey said it was an amateurish set-up and the plants were of poor quality.
He said: "There's no evidence he'd actually supplied any of it."
He had previously possessed cannabis in 2010, Leicester Crown Court was told.
Sentencing, Judge Sylvia De Bertodano said: "The police attended your address following the report of a fire unconnected with the cannabis.
"They found you were growing cannabis in substantial quantities.
"It was an amateur operation, not being conducted in a professional way.
"You were planning to make some money, although not a great deal as you were intending selling it to friends at a low rate."