Boy, 17, behind cannabis farm

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A TEENAGER has been locked up for 12 months after a cannabis farm with 619 plants was discovered at a house in Boothtown.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Calderdale Magistrates’ Court, speaking through a Vietnamese interpreter.

He pleaded guilty to the production of cannabis and was sentenced to a 12-month detention and training order.

Lisa Beadle, prosecuting, said plants were discovered on Monday May 16 after three people visited the house for non-payment of gas bills.

They found the 17-year-old – who the court heard was in the country illegally – hiding inside and kept hold of him until police arrived.

Officers found 156 plants in one bedroom, along with sun lamps and timer feeders, about 170 plants in another bedoorm and 93 plants in a third.

In the garage, officers found a “nursery growing room” with 200 plants. Officers also found two mobile phones and ten sim cards.

Miss Beadle said in interview the teen said he had come into the country on the back of a lorry and was offered a house to stay at in Halifax if he cared for the plants, and would be paid £500 a week.

She said: “He admitted producing the cannabis plants but he stated he wasn’t aware they were illegal. He thought the plants were Chinese herbal medicines.”

Bill Rawstron, mitigating, said: “This boy was not the brains of the operation. He is someone who was homeless and was given money and a home in return for producing cannabis. He says he did not know cannabis was illegal in this country.”

The court heard it likely he would be deported after his sentence.