Cannabis ‘gardener’ spared jail.

A MAN has been spared jail after admitting being a gardener to a cannabis stash worth over £15,000.

Richard Pype, 34, from Lee Green, Mirfield, admitted his role in the production of more than 1.4kg of cannabis and a smaller haul worth more than £3,000 found in his house, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Police raided another house in Pearl Street, Batley, on September 17 2010 where they found 35 plants in two bedrooms with sophisticated hydroponic and ventilation systems in place.

Later that day, police searched Pype’s Mirfield home where they found the smaller stash of nine plants. He was arrested and during a police interview, Pype admitted to looking after the Pearl Street operation.

Tamara Pawson, mitigating, said Pype had been addicted to the Class B drug but had started to turn his life around so he could care for his young son.

“He is determined to provide the best care possible for his son. He know helps with his 90-year-old grandfather at his home and he is also a qualifed bricklayer who is looking for an apprenticeship,” she said.

Judge Kerry MacGill sentenced Pype to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered 200 hours of community service.

Summing up, he said: “You have come perilously close to going to prison for this. You’re a 34-year-old man and you have to work to support your son. It’s about time that instead of sitting at home smoking cannabis, you do something with your time.”

He said any further offending would lead to an immediate prison term.