£100,000 cannabis farm discovered in Morley

Gary Rockcliffe
Gary Rockcliffe

Police discovered a £100,000 cannabis factory when they executed a search warrant at a house in Morley.

A court heard Gary Rockcliffe boasted that he would soon “have more money than makes sense” from the illegal enterprise.

Leeds Crown Court heard Rockcliffe’s bank manager wife was also aware of her husband’s illegal operation and sent him a text message discussing the opening of a “swag account.”

The 32-year-old worked in printing but rented at a terraced house at a house on Oxford Street, Morley, where the cannabis factory was set up.

Rockcliffe, his uncle Glen Campbell and Claudio Diclemente then set about growing 80 plants in the rooms and cellar of the terraced property. The plants were capable of producing £100,000 in a year.

The bypassed the electricity supply and also caused over £7,000 of damage to the property install sophisticated heating, lighting and growing equipment.

Police executed a search warrant at the property on February 5 last year and found the plants.

A total of £7,668 worth of damage had been done to the house and £2,237 of electricity had been illegally obtained.

The owner of the was then contacted and she was horrified to see what had been done to the property.

She told officers Rockcliffe was renting the property and found a tenancy agreement when they searched his home on Gilroyd Terrace.

Mobile phones were seized from his home and were found to contain text messages linking Campbell and Diclemente to the cannabis factory.

Allan Armbrister, prosecuting, said Rockcliffe had also sent messages to his Claire about the illegal operation.

One text read: “In a couple of weeks time we will have more money than makes sense.”

The prosecutor said: “She responded by saying she was excited about the money in and talking about opening a swag account.”

Police also seized cash from the property and a receipt for a BMW X3 which had been purchased for £8,300.

Rockcliffe pleaded guilty to producing cannabis, abstracting electricity and criminal damage.

Richard Reed, mitigating, said Rockcliffe had committed the offence at a time when he was heavily in debt.

He owed £11,000 on credit cards and he and his wife had been paying privately for IVF treatment.

Mr Reed said Rockcliffe’s wife had a responsible job as a manager with HSBC.

He added: “He is naive and was persuaded to take the tenancy in his own name.”

Rockcliffe was jailed for three years, four months.

Mr Justice Males said: “It is clear that you motivation for this was the expectation of substantial financial gain.”

Campbell and Diclemente are to be sentenced at a later date.