A bankrupt former Scarborough caravan park owner facing £4 million worth of debt turned to smoking cannabis to help cope with his business and health problems,.
However, Salvador King, 44, then went a stage further, York Crown Court heard, agreeing with his supplier to allow the large basement of his bungalow to be used to grow the drug.
King, who formerly ran several holiday venues from his former home on the Beach View Caravan Park, in Cayton Bay, appeared for sentencing, having previously admitted one charge each of producing and supplying the drug.
Alan Mitcheson, prosecuting, told how police executed a search warrant on October 10, last year, to find 25 mature cannabis plants and 139 seedlings in the basement.
It was accepted that King, now of Flaxton Road, Strensall, York, had been allowing the plants to be grown on behalf of another, receiving £2,500 for one grow, but then deciding during the cultivation of the plants found by the police to become uninvolved. However, at the time of the police raid King had not been able to get the plants removed by their owner.
The court, which was told in reports of King’s millions of pounds worth of debt, was told that there was to be no action taken under the Proceeds of crime Act as the defendant is considered to be a man of little or no means.
Passing sentence, Recorder David Osborne said that there may be some who would consider it to be very lenient, others facing similar offences receiving stiffer penalties.
However, he added that under the circumstances of King’s case, he felt it was the right thing to do. Wishing the now drug-free King “all the best of luck with your endeavours”, the recorder sentenced him to a 12 month community order, with six months supervision and a requirement to complete 40 hours of unpaid work.