A COVENTRY man who rented a business park unit which was then converted into a cannabis factory has escaped being jailed after claiming he was not involved in the cultivation.
Maysam Sadreddini had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to being concerned in the production of cannabis at the unit on the Victoria Business Park in Leamington.
He entered his plea on the basis that he had rented the unit under pressure from others and was not involved in the actual cultivation.
Following an adjournment for a pre-sentence report, he was sentenced at Coventry Crown Court to four months in prison suspended for 12 months.
Sadreddini (29) of Gainford Rise, Coventry, a research engineer, was also ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and to pay £1,200 costs.
And Judge Philip Gregory told him: “I think you have been a very lucky man, because I don’t believe any of the nonsense in your basis of plea for one minute.
“I find it remarkable it was accepted. If it had been put forward before me, I would have rejected it out of hand.”
Prosecutor Amy Jackson said that in February last year a unit which had been rented by Sadreddini on the Victoria Business Park was raided by police.
Officers found 36 cannabis plants and a large amount of growing equipment including 38 lights and eight extractor fans. The electricity supply had been by-passed ‘in a highly dangerous manner.’
It was estimated the potential yield from each plant would have been between 28 and 84 grams, giving a total yield of anything between a kilo and just over 3 kilos.
At the highest estimate, that would have been worth up to £19,500 in large one-ounce deals – and far more once it was divided into one-gram street deals.
Miss Jackson said Sadreddini had indicated he had taken out the lease after being subjected to some pressure over a debt, and suspected cannabis was going to be grown there.
He said he had also divided the premises as he had been instructed, but was shut out of it and played no part in the cultivation.
That led Judge Gregory to observe: “Apart from paying the rent throughout the growing period.”
Colin Charvill, defending, argued Sadreddini, who he said was a hard-working man, a self-employed research engineer, with no previous convictions, could be given a suspended sentence.
Referring to sentencing guidelines, Mr Charvill said: “It would be my submission that this was a lesser role, because his role was limited and under direction or coercion, one might say.
“He did not go into the premises or assist in any way. The rent was paid by him because he owed money, and this was how he repaid it. He was receiving no financial benefit.”
But the judge commented: “He was, he was getting his £5,000 debt paid off.”
Sentencing Sadreddini, Judge Gregory told him: “You provided premises for the cultivation of cannabis on a significant scale, with a sophisticated hydroponic set-up, for the purpose of making a considerable sum of money from the sale of skunk cannabis.
“I am required to sentence you on the basis of your plea, but your role made this activity possible. Without your role in providing the premises and paying the rent, this cannabis could not have been grown.
“On the basis of your plea, I find it is necessary to suspend the sentence. I think you have been a very lucky man.”