A CANNABIS grower who turned an entire Nelson house into a £16,000 commercial drugs farm has been jailed for two years.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Masood Ahmed, 36, didn’t even use drugs, but was in £30,000 of debt to family members.

Ahmed, who had a £69,000 mortgage on the property, was arrested after residents saw activity at the empty, unoccupied house twice a day over two months and got suspicious. Police then raided the property last October 8.

Ahmed was said by his barrister to have learned his lesson, but a judge said the court had to punish him and deter others.

Judge Beverley Lunt told the defendant: “You made the considered decision to set up a business in which you grew two crops with fairly substantial yields, to be sold on. You didn’t care to whom — young, old, vulnerable. To you, it was just a business and a whole house was set up for this purpose.”

Ahmed, of Leeds Road, Nelson, had admitted producing cannabis and abstracting electricity.

Stephen Parker, prosecuting, said police went to the property on Leeds Road.

Ahmed wasn’t there, but was spoken to, went with officers and opened the door. The house was searched and was found to be being used for no other purpose than growing cannabis.

Officers found piles of plastic bags containing the remains of cannabis plants that had previously been grown. The rooms were foil-lined and extractor fans, high-powered lights and transformers had been used, as well as a growing chart. Police recovered 790 grams of cannabis, with a street value of £7,900.

Mr Parker said the two crops were worth £16,000 on the streets.

Soheil Khan, defending Ahmed, said: “It seems out of character for him. He doesn’t misuse drugs.

“He was in debt to family members for about £30,000. Demands had been made to him for repayment and he took the silly decision to engage in this enterprise to pay off his debts.”