Disabled man is locked up

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A disabled man was put behind bars for offering out his basement for the use of drug production.

Bradford Crown Court was told how Stephen Bentley had agreed a deal that his cellar be used for growing cannabis, on the deal he’d receive £5,000 in return – money the court was told was required for him to be able to pay towards his daughter’s wedding.

Bentley, of Luddenden Lane, Luddenden Foot, pleaded guilty to the production and attempted production of a controlled drug on his premises.

The court was told that on December 11 of last year a warrant officer entered the defendant’s property and found a cannabis factory of 76 plants was in production, and they alerted the police.

The court was told the plants of cannabis skunk held a street value of just less than £28,000 with a yield of 3.42kg.

Acting in 60-year-old Bentley’s defence, Mr Malcolm Nowell said: “He was under severe financial pressure at the time when he attempted to speak to someone and invite them to set up the cannabis farm in the property he was renting.

“His daughter had told him in October of last year she was to get married. He’s a man who’s disabled and is subject to benefits. He recognised that at that particular time he couldn’t afford the significant figures needed. He approached a man, the deal was the cannabis farm would be set up in his premises and he took absolutely no part in setting up the cannabis farm itself.

“He spent significant figures of time at the home of his partner or girlfriend . He had no real idea of just how much had been set up. The deal was he’d receive in the region of £5,000. There was absolutely no intention in his mind of going on to a second or third crop.”

The court was told that the defendant – whose past convictions include a number of motoring offences - failed to receive the agreed payment due to police involvement.

Bentley was sentenced to four months in prison.