A FLINTSHIRE dad used a house for cannabis production after becoming concerned about financially providing for his family, a court heard.

Matthew Inskip, of Bagillt Road in Greenfield, appeared at Mold Crown Court on Wednesday for sentencing.

The 39-year-old had previously admitted producing cannabis and using electricity without authorisation.

Jemma Gordon, prosecuting, told the court that at the end of July last year police executed a warrant at a house in Greenfield which was owned by Inskip.

When they entered they saw the majority of the property had been set up to cultivate the drug and the electricity had been bypassed.

The meter was disconnected and Inskip was contacted, after which arrangements were made for him to hand himself in.

Other addresses he owned were searched, but no drugs were found at those.

Ms Gordon said 108 live cannabis plants were found at the house in varying stages of growth, as well as a quantity of harvested cannabis.

Only the living room had been left for the function of daily life, with almost the entirety of the rest of the site having been adapted.

The windows had bee sealed and a complex air filtration system had been installed.

It was estimated by police that the cannabis could have been worth up to £150,000 in street deals.

Philip Tully, defending, said his client found himself in "a very difficult position financially" in July 2020, adding he'd been "concerned about providing for his family."

"His conduct is something he clearly regrets," Mr Tully said.

"Although it must be absolutely clear Mr Inskip's intention was to make a financial gain from it, he did not in fact supply any of the cannabis.

"His actions have backfired in spectacular fashion.

"Mr Inskip is a family man and a financial provider for his children an wife.

"He is someone who has suffered tragedy in his life which led him to have mental health difficulties but despite all he issues he's had to deal with he is a man with a good work record.

"Th various and numerous references from people in the community make it clear he is highly though of.

"He's done a great deal for his community and continues to do so."

He asked the court to consider an alternative to immediate custody.

But Judge Rhys Rowlands told the defendant: "Plainly from the figures arrived at by the police and what is shown in the photos this was a significant ongoing operation.

"You chose to involve yourself with serious criminal activity which I am afraid must carry serious consequences.

"Try as I might, I take the view it is not possible to draw back from immediate custody.

"I have no doubt at all whoever you say suggested you made money by using this house in this way, and you yourself, would have realised if you were in court a prison sentence was going to follow.

"It is a risk you chose to take."

Inskip was jailed for 28 months for the production of cannabis.

He received no separate penalty for the electricity offence.

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