Man who grew cannabis in Grimsby home is jailed
POLICE discovered a sophisticated cannabis factory after heat detectors on their helicopter showed high levels inside a house, a court heard.
The maximum yield of the plants being grown could have reached a value of up to £54,000, the court was told.
Kyle Ralph, 24, of Blundell Avenue, Cleethorpes, admitted producing cannabis and abstracting about £1,200 of electricity on May 2.
Helen Wheatley, prosecuting, told Grimsby Crown Court that the police helicopter was returning from an operation when its heat detectors noticed an abnormal glow from a house – suggesting that a large amount of electricity was being used.
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A search warrant was carried out at Ralph’s then home in Beeson Grove, Grimsby.
Numerous cannabis plants were found spread across the upper bedrooms, as well as an extensive ventilation system, an extractor fan and lighting.
There were 72 plants, including a mother plant, and they could have had an estimated maximum yield of 3,200g, worth about £18,200 in street deals.
There was potential for two further crops, estimated at up to £36,000, making a possible maximum total cannabis yield of more than £54,000.
A fuse box had been bypassed and tampered with, interfering with the electricity supply.
Michael Culshaw, mitigating, said Ralph had been using cannabis since he was a teenager but, after losing his employment for about six months, could no longer afford to buy the drug so started the plant-growing enterprise.
He claimed he was “surprised” at how successful he was at growing cannabis and admitted he had sold some of the drugs to friends on a commercial basis.
“He has made a critical error of judgement,” said Mr Culshaw.
He had started to repay the cost of some of the electricity he had illegally used.
Ralph, who had been in temporary employment recently, was jailed for 14 months.